I think that the Ecclesiastes quote can be answered with humans. Compare our society today with that of itself 100 or even 50 years ago. More and more people don’t consider themselves part of any religion. So these people don’t look to a higher power to help to solve their problems, but look within themselves or to other more concrete sources. In Gattaca it seems like a society in which contemporary thought is just more widespread. Unlike a society run or based on biblical laws, it is one that is totally based on human capabilities and human ingenuity.
It really forshadows what is to come because of the emphasis on the attention to detail. The idea of perfection is now attainable and creates a new kind of discrimination. Small piece of skin that is invisible to the naked eye can determine your future and what kind of person you are destined to be. The use of the the close-ups on pieces of the body really breaks people down to nothing more than body parts and what they represent which is ultimately a step backwards for humankind because nothing can ever truly be perfect.
Within the opening titles alone, I believe this clip encompasses most themes expressed within Gattaca. What I got was this very cold impression of a futuristic society, where the reliance on technology has surmounted to a very cold, calculated, efficent and consequently emotionless world. The music in the background sets for a very sorrowful mood. In fact, it does so throughout all of Gattaca. The clip, and further the movie, allude to a world where more emphasis is put on efficiency then human life. Gattaca, as a world where human have, in essence, become gods, depicts society as entirely demystified. I can’t imagine people from this period telling there kids that they can growup and be whatever they want to be, as the capacity of the human spirit has taken a backseat to genetic coding. As we see with Ethan Hawke shedding his skin, and incinerating it, he is practically throwing away his humanity. He has to become this efficient, engineered and emotionless being to have a reasonable chance to succeed in this world.