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To Be

To Be

| 10 min

Blending fantasy and reality, this animated short is a bold inquiry into an as yet unresolved problem - the nature of human identity. When a scientist creates a machine that can make copies of physical objects, including humans, a number of ethical questions arise. Is the technique moral? What of its safety? A film by Oscar-winning filmmaker John Weldon (who also wrote the catchy banjo tune that punctuates the story's changing moods).

  • director
    John Weldon
  • script
    John Weldon
  • animation
    John Weldon
  • music
    John Weldon
  • producer
    David Verrall
  • executive producer
    Douglas MacDonald
  • animation camera
    Jacques Avoine
    Robin L.P. Bain
    Pierre Landry
  • sound editing
    Jackie Newell
  • voice
    Kim Handysides
    Howard Ryshpan
  • re-recording
    Jean-Pierre Joutel
    Shelley Craig


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Ages 12 to 18

Study Guide - Guide 1

Ethics and Religious Culture - Ethical Values
Health/Personal Development - Bullying & Discrimination
Health/Personal Development - Identity
Technology Education - Science and Technology

Warning (if any): Idea of a person dying or ceasing to exist

Brief “lesson launcher type” activity or a series of inquiry questions with a bit of context:

Animated film depicting a scientist who invents a magical cloning machine and invites a woman to come test it out.

Are some things “too good to be true”? How does that relate to this story?

How does this story relate to the concept of cloning?

How did the feelings of the scientist and the woman change when they had to watch the death of the second scientist? Can you draw any connections between this and how people treat others online versus in person?

Why does the woman feel “guiltless” after she clones herself? Are there any similar situations when things like this happen today?

To Be
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