209th Movie Review: The Real Eve (2002)

A cool and well-documented film that is a tad long and went a little out-of-course by the end


Note: This is my reaction paper for a Biology 1 requirement, and I uploaded it for you to be informed about this movie, not to let others copy my work. You can use this a reference, but DO NOT COPY MY WORK.

Where did we come from? Who were the first modern humans? How and why did the humans spread throughout the world? These are just some of the troubling questions that have been remarkably answered in The Real Eve, a documentary that offers an engaging and informative look at the real face of human evolution. And it could all be traced through one single person, our genetic mother, Eve.

Eve is the mother of mankind; she is the genetic eve from whom we all descend. She lived 150,000 years ago in East Africa and everyone on Earth is related to her. Her daughters and granddaughters would take modern humans out of Africa, and would populate the rest of the world. It was the most important journey in the history of mankind.

Genetic eve was not the only woman living at the time, or even the most fertile. However, her mitochondrial genes were the most successful, and were the only ones to survive. Everyone in the world today can trace a common ancestral line back to her, through a unique part of our DNA called mitochondrial DNA.

Mitochondrial DNA is separate from the normal chromosomal DNA that determines our height or eye color. Men inherit that DNA from their mother, but they can’t pass it. In women, it carries on from mother to daughter almost unchanged, and this is how we can trace our way back to our genetic eve, and her daughters. Therefore, ridden in it is the history of the world’s women, and therefore the human race.

In the film, it showed how scientists were able to create a route map of the journey of the first humans through genetic tracking. With it, we could follow the families of eve as they travel through an empty world, overcome hardships, and go in different paths to discover new land, to find a better and more hospitable environment to live in. Genetic tracking tells us for the first time who we are and where we come from, the most profound question that has troubled mankind since we raised our heads and looked at the stars.

In my opinion, Eve’s role in human evolution is the most important one. Her ability to survive has allowed her descendants (most importantly, her daughters) to travel across the globe and secure the future of the human race.

The possibility of having a genetic Adam though, is uncertain. Through the documentary, we have learned that Mitochondrial DNA can’t be passed on to the younger generation by the males, so it could be possible that we don’t have a genetic Adam, a man who had a significant role in human evolution.

For the first time, we were able to tell conclusively the story of where, when and how the human race came about and then populated the world. An unbroken chain links us to our past, and to each other, all sharing the same genetic inheritance, from our ancestral Eve. By the end of the movie, the narrator tells us that perhaps, that is the most important message we should carry into the future. And that’s exactly what I believe.


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