“Do you accept that any diversion from mission parameters will result in immediate court marshal and if convicted death by lethal injection?” “I do.”
In 1975 a time traveling agent is trying to disarm a bomb placed by someone referred to as the Fizzle Bomber when he is interrupted by someone trying to stop him. As a result the bomb goes off before it can be entirely disarmed. The explosion burns the agent horribly. The agent returns to his own time and wakes up in a burn ward. After a long recuperation he is given a new face and is sent on a different mission.
The agent returns to 1975 and gets a job as a bartender. A customer comes in and eventually they start a conversation. It turns out that the customer, whose name is John writes true confession articles under the moniker “An Unmarried Mother.” John ends up telling the bartender his life story.
In 1945 John was actually born Jane and was left at an orphanage. Growing up was difficult for her. She was brilliant but did not get along with her peers. She tried to join a government program called “Space Corp” which was run by a man named Mr. Robertson (Noah Taylor). Jane excelled in the program but was eventually rejected due to a medical issue. Although the doctors never explained to her what the medical issue was.
Eventually Jane met a man and fell in love. One day her lover disappeared. She then found out she was pregnant. After her baby girl was born the doctors told her that due to complications they had to do a hysterectomy on her. They also tell her that she was born with two different sets of sex organs, one male and one female. Now that she can no longer bear children she could become a man. The doctors removed all female organs and gave her testosterone. Jane becomes John. While she was in the hospital her baby was stolen from the nursery. John vows that if he ever found the man that stole his baby he would kill him.
After his story the agent offers John the opportunity to do just that. He tells John that he is a time traveler and that he can arrange for him to meet the man that stole his daughter. In return John would take over the agent’s job for as long as John wants.
The agent takes John back to 1963 to when Jane met her lover. John meets Jane. They fall in love. John impregnates Jane. John is now both the father and the mother to the baby. The Agent jumps to the nursery and steals the baby. He then jumps to 1945 and deposits the newborn at the orphanage. The baby is Jane. Now John not only impregnated himself as Jane but is also his own daughter. All three are the same person but different sexes in different times.
Then things start to get confusing.
“Predestination” was released in 2014 and was directed by Michael and Peter Spierig. It is an Australian science fiction time travel movie and was based on the 1959 story “All You Zombies” by Robert A. Heinlein. The movie stars Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook and Noah Taylor.
There is very little that can be said about the movie that won’t give away some major and important plot devise. It is an impressively mind bending film that takes the predestination paradox to its limit. It’s a little confusing at times but totally awesome.
There are several types of time travel paradoxes. The film, of course, subscribes to the Predestination Paradox. A Predestination Paradox refers to a phenomenon in which a person traveling back in time becomes part of past events, and may even have caused the initial event that caused that person to travel back in time in the first place. In this theoretical paradox of time travel, history is presented as being unalterable and predestined, with any attempts to change past events merely resulting in that event being fulfilled.