France, 1980. Veronique, Lola and Silvye share the same plight: they are all trying to become mothers with the help of in-vitro fertilization.
Louise Brown, the first test-tube baby, has just been born in the UK. Genetist Guillaume Bardet and gynecologist Antoine Daumier, are trying to duplicate the British success in France. The experimentation will take an extremely high toll on all those involved: the doctors, the women who volunteered for the pioneering clinical studies and their families, strained to the limit by years of treatment, surgeries and all sorts of other attempts.
In the first of the two episodes, that can also be watched separately, viewers are taken into Guillame’s lab and Antoine’s ward; they are shown footage from the actual fertilization and ensuing cellular replication – the first, moving step in a process that will result, in some lucky cases, into “miracle babies”.
This film is an excellent specimen of fiction based on real scientific events. Its source of inspiration was the story of gynecologist Renè Frydman and genetist Jacques Testart, the “fathers” of Amandine, the first French baby girl to be born through in-vitro fertilization.
The history of scientific research is just one aspect of the story. Through a well-balanced, well directed and well played plot, Miracle Babies shows different sides of the issue at hand: the scientific challenge that absorbs the researchers completely, but also professionals rivalries and personal events – multiple facets that allow a broad range of viewers to enjoy this film.
The questions asked by the main characters along their journey touch upon hot topics: “What is an embryo? When does life begin?”. And there’s no way for the viewers to ignore them.
This film won a prize at the Scientific Fiction Festival in 2003.