This essay analyzes Denis Villeneuve's 2016 film, Arrival, and elucidates its strikingly original meditation on the ethics of reproduction and the relationships between and among embodied maternal subjectivity, language, and temporality. Drawing on deconstructive theories of language and relationality as well as on the writing of scholars working at the intersection of reproductive biology and feminist philosophy, the essay argues that Arrival uses some of the generic features of science fiction cinema (alien encounter and time travel) to articulate a feminist and posthumanist philosophy of relation and care. Focusing on the film's language of risk, danger, contamination, and even social disintegration, Arrival prompts us to consider how a particularly suggestive account of the maternal‐fetal relationship, and of the process of fostering and becoming a relationally determined being, simultaneously engages with the fraught question of reproductive choice and reproductive justice in our contemporary moment. Meditating on the film's visual, sonic, and conceptual representations of the “placental wall” and of the “parasitical” structure of pregnancy, the essay shows how Arrival parallels feminist readings of the materiality of pregnancy that deconstruct the self‐possessed or “virile” subject of patriarchal individualism.

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