Prompted by his mother's decline and death, filmmaker Mark Wexler, at age 53, embarked on a world-wide investigation of attitudes towards aging and longevity. Examining his own outlook and beliefs, Wexler appears in the film, interviewing and interacting with Jack LaLanne, Suzanne Sommers and other famous long life gurus, the world's oldest women -- 115 years old -- and influential senior citizens, including Ray Bradbury, Phyllis Diller and others. He also delves into cryogenics, tried out a casket, and poses the question: do you really want to live forever?
A Gentle Approach to Difficult Subjects
In How To Live Forever, filmmaker Mark Wexler does a very good job of transcending taboos -- social and/or emotional -- about the difficult subjects of aging and death. By putting himself into the picture -- whether he's measuring his fat with calipers or listening to his friend, Pico Iyer philosophizing -- Wexler personally assumes the role of guide and moderator. He admits his own dread and fear, but often uses gentle humor to introduce those who excel at keeping their dread and fear at bay. Suzanne Somers, for example, expounds on how consuming a cocktail of hormones is keeping her young, while Ray Bradbury points to the beneficial effects of physical and intellectual active and forward thinking, and Phyllis Diller's antidote to aging is humor. There are those, too, who prepare to freeze their bodies or brains in anticipation of being resuscitated when cures for their ailments are discovered -- along with the technology to unfreeze them -- in the future. And then there are the wonderful centenarians who've defied death by virtue of their genes and/or what is described as a life lived with steady and steadfast habits. The film, an entertaining compilation of all of their various points of view and suggested remedies, is a portal for personal reflection on one's own aging and death, and for consideration of the experiences of those who are near and dear, or of celebrated elders who've become iconic models of what it is like to age well. That realm of reflection is an important one for everyone, and How To Life Forever is a highly relevant documentary with wide appeal.
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- Title: How To Live Forever
- Director: Mark Wexler
- Release Date: May 13, 2011 (Limited Theatrical)
- Running Time: 92 mins.
- Parents Advisory: Advisory for content
- Locations: Los Angeles, Las Vegas and other cities around the world
- Language: English
- Distribution Company: Variance Films
- Official Website