July 20, 2010

To Age or Not to Age

By Brian Whisenaut

[This amusing review was originally posted on Awards Wiz on July 16, 2010.]

To Age or Not to Age” is a new documentary opening in NYC on July 16th, directed by filmmaker, and everyman, Robert Kane Pappas.  The film questions whether or not aging and death are quite the absolutes we have always imagined.   Even before the film starts I begin to think about the consequences of longer life.  Overpopulation…leading to what?  Limits on children?  Habitation of other planets?  Is this something that should even be considered?  And, won’t people be too scared to talk about it?  So much is put into preventing death, is it blasphemous of me to think living longer is a bad idea?

Pappas begins his narration by telling us how he “discovers” a film subject.  In this case, he read an article in the Science section of The New York Times about how calorie restriction lead to a healthier and longer life in mice.  When Pappas becomes interested in a subject, he decides to learn as much as he can about it until he is an expert.  He is starting from scratch here, which gives me great hope that I will be able to follow along with this scientific mumbo jumbo (and to be frank…not get bored.).  Basically scientists are beginning to determine ways to make the genes in humans react similarly as they do with calorie restriction, but without us starving in the process.  As more progress is made, it appears we may be able to live 10, 20 years longer…sooner or later.

As the film began to move along, introducing us to more scientists (including the very interesting Aubrey de Grey, a sort of rogue scientist who believes we could live for 1000s, possibly millions of years and Rev. Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco, who goes from scientists, to priest, to scientist/priest, both of which give very important perspectives to the story.)  I begin to realize that I am completely engrossed in what is being discussed.

Click here for entire review.

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