The Essence of Life is a documentary about Prof. Wacław Szybalski a scientist of an outstanding mind and incredible biography. Prof. Szybalski is called "The Father of Synthetic Biology". His pioneer research, in particular inserting DNA into human cells, i.e. cellular transformation, allowed to revolutionize modern biology and medicine, creating thus the basis for gene therapy. Prof. Wacław Szybalski emphasizes also the ethical aspects of genetics. Pope John Paul II invited him to consult Vatican stance on genetic engineering.