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Something you should see… Donor Unknown: Adventures in the Sperm Trade

Donor Unknown is a story that belongs uniquely to our era. JoEllen Marsh, a 20-year-old with two mothers, embarks upon a mission to meet her biological father, Donor 150. She’s one of thousands of children in the US born via sperm donation. Donor 150 is Jeffery Harrison an endearing, self-proclaimed, “fringe monkey” living in an RV in a Venice Beach car park. Expect to feel hopeful yet terrified as you wait to see what Jeffery’s biological input means to JoEllen. Is she looking for a father or merely a clue to her own beginning? Will she be disappointed?

But this story is not merely about one man and his child; rather it’s about one man and his children. During her search for Jeffery, JoEllen discovered something unexpected; around a dozen half-siblings. The uncanny similarities of the donor children are juxtaposed with their individual reactions to Jeffery and the thoughts about their conception.

Donor Unknown tries to facilitate empathy and understanding of sperm donation rather than approach it with the pragmatic, sterile perspective of an outsider. Disappointingly, this means that the film only brushes upon the deeper social and ethical concerns surrounding third party reproduction but will make you curious to know more. As people move further away from traditional ideas of family and conception these are the stories that will define generations to come. (Words: Beth Downey)

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1 comment

  • Hi there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay.

    I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

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