Directed by Peter Friedman, JF Brunet • Documentary • With Elizabeth Blackburn, Leonard Hayflick, Michael Rose, Cynthia Kenyon, Francois Schachter, Alain Prochiantz • 1998 • 59 minutes
Why do we age? Do we wear out piece by piece like an old car? Or do our genes determine our lifespan? Scientists are now approaching this complex problem from a variety of angles. Some have genetically selected worms and flies and successfully prolonged their lives well beyond their normal lifespans. Others study the genes of people who’ve lived to be 100, in search of what they may have in common. Still others, such as Nobel Prizewinner Elizabeth Blackburn, studies how chromosomes shorten with age. Others study some of the world’s oldest living creatures: the 5000 year old bristle cone pine trees of eastern California. This scientific “road movie” combines scientific rigor which a whimsical use of archival metaphors and animation to make an accessible, entertaining film about something which concerns us all.