Amazon Prime: A perspective on life and death in Dead Ringers

Ethical dilemmas of our society surrounding motherhood and procreation, surrogacy, artificial insemination, life, and death are aspects of the new Amazon Prime series: Dead Ringers (2023), an interesting psychological thriller whose first episode premiered on April 21st and has generated controversy in the 240 countries where it is broadcast.

Giuliana Brogi Sánchez

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The series, based on the movie of the same name, directed by David Cronenberg and released in 1988, includes Rachel Weisz, Briones Oldford, Poppy Liu, Jennifer Ehle, and Michael Chernus in its cast.

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The plot is based on the lives of the twins: Elliot Mantle and Beverly Mantle, successful and brilliant doctors who, as gynecologists, dedicate themselves to childbirth, baby delivery, and the monitoring of maternal gestation.

The plot of the story lies in the relationship between Elliot and Beverly as twin sisters, who live and work together. This seems strange and mysterious, as they seem to share almost everything, raising doubts about the existence or not of one of them. Both have an enormous and difficult mission, which is to transform medical practice and the way women give birth, starting with the United States. Recognizing the existence and legitimacy of structural violence exercised in medical practice and social perceptions of procreation and motherhood.

There is something very valuable in this audiovisual production, which is the ingenious exploration of strong emotions such as anguish, fear, and guilt. Emotions that when you are pregnant or a mother, can feel very intense.

Personally, I think the series deals with various profound and quite suggestive themes such as procreation, birth, abortion, the desire to be a mother, and ethical dilemmas in medical practice (among other things). As a psychological thriller, the series maintains a range of cold and opaque colors that accompany the mysterious sounds of the soundtrack, composing a style and an audiovisual language typical of the series, whose scenes are quite explicit.

Given that one of the questions that the first chapter of the series raised in me, at least based on a brilliant and very well-accomplished scene in which a pregnant woman, in her last weeks of pregnancy, is verbally violated by a woman who speaks for herself and believes she owns this woman's womb, due to the fact that she has rented it.

In this discussion, concerns arise about the values and hierarchies that are assigned to the life of a pregnant mother in comparison to that of the baby, since in most cases, the well-being of the baby takes precedence over the physical, emotional, and mental health of the mother.


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