Hot Docs 2014: The Immortalists (2014)
It’s a fixation as old as humanity: can we stay forever young and live lives of infinite length? If you’re a fan of the fountain of youth, you’ll be delighted to know that biologists Aubrey de Grey and Bill Andrews are both unwavering in the belief that a “cure” for aging is just within reach. The Immortalists illustrates that the two men couldn’t be more different really, as Aubrey constantly has a beer in hand and Bill struggles to reverse his own aging process by running just as constantly as Aubrey swills beer. What they do have in common is a passionate dedication to halting the aging process.
The Immortalists is one of those docs that ends up being more than meets the eye. It’s a beautifully constructed document of two, well, kinda nutjobs who are elevated by their passions, making it very reminiscent of Errol Morris’ Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control. Yep, it’s that good. From taking the viewer through some complicated (and potentially tedious science) via on point special effects and an insightfully placed score, The Immortalists is fascinating from start to finish.
What’s missing from the The Immortalists is what’s missing from the scientists themselves. Neither Aubrey or Bill indulge in much deep thought about the consequences of achieving their goal. Indeed, during a debate, Aubrey actually shrugs off questions about the environmental or economic impacts of halting the aging process. It’s more than a little alarming, because by this point in the doc you’ve been charmed by these men into believing immortality just may be possible.
Add The Immortalists to your Hot Docs must-see list.
Screening Times for The Immortalists
Hart House Theatre Sun, Apr 27 7:00 PM
ROM Theatre Tue, Apr 29 3:30 PM
Fox Theatre Fri, May 2 9:30 PM
TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 Sun, May 4 9:30 PM