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poster for "King of Clones" with Netflix logo

Poster for King of Clones (Netflix documentary) via Wikipedia

Cloning is, at heart, about the fear of death and the desire to defeat it. Consequently, biologist and researcher Dr. Hwang Woo-suk’s breakthroughs in the field made him not only a celebrated pioneer, but a veritable Christ-like figure, capable of not-so-figuratively bringing animals—and, potentially, people—back to life through the careful use and manipulation of stem cells. Playing God, however, is a delicate and dangerous business, and one that, as proven by King of Clones, requires not only intellectual genius, but a level of unimpeachable integrity that Hwang appears to have sorely lacked.

Aditya Thayi’s feature-length Netflix documentary (available now) is a primer on the rise and fall of Hwang, a former superstar who currently plies his genetics trade in the United Arab Emirates, cloning camels for the rich and powerful, who covet them for both their attractiveness and their racing prowess. Hwang himself participates throughout the film, providing a tour of his sparkling new facility and showing off his four-legged handiwork, which first made waves in the UAE when he...