9 Months That Made You (DVD Review)2 Aug, 2016 By: Stephanie Prange
Those who remember the Emmy-winning “Nova” documentary The Miracle of Life from the 1980s will find 9 Months That Made You employs a more nuanced approach informed by the scientific advances in the decades since.
This three-part program takes viewers through the journey of human gestation and its minute-by-minute genetic process. Told through a series of personal stories that introduce viewers to people born with surprising and unexpected differences, the program explores just how complex the human gestational process is.
With the help of CGI, the program goes inside the womb to re-create the growth process of a fetus and explains how genetics can cause fascinating and unexpected mutations. In the initial episode, “The First 8 Weeks,” for example, viewers meet a family in Brazil whose multi-generational genetic mutation has caused half of them to grow six digits on each hand. Later, the series visits professional surfer Laird Hamilton, whose extreme sense of fearlessness is actually a genetic trait he may have passed on to his children.
The series also explores how sexuality and handedness is formed, as well as epigenetic research showing how the womb environment leaves its mark, even altering DNA.
A worthy update to the many documentaries on human development that came before, including The Miracle of Life, 9 Months That Made You will fascinate even the least scientifically inclined.