Directed by Peter Friedman, JF Brunet • Documentary • With Martin Raff, Rita Levi-Montalcini, Robert Horvitz, Pierre Golstein, Polly Matzinger, Klaus-Michael Debatin • 1995 • 70 minutes
There exists a world where death creates life, where suicides without sadness occur billions of times an hour, where every individual does exactly what is required by the society as a whole. It is a world of highly sophisticated communication, of vast depth and endless mystery. It is utterly alien, yet it is also, in every moment, creating us all. Death by Design is a guided tour of the invisible world of our cells, told through a collage of metaphors. State-of-the-art micro-cinematography is playfully intercut with parallel images from life at the human scale: a hundred lighted violins, imploding buildings, pieces of film on the cutting room floor. Our scientist-guides include two Nobel prizewinners, Rita Levi-Montalcini and Robert Horvitz.
“Intelligent and imaginative. . .inventively choreographed images. . .surprising, revealing metaphors for what the program rightly boasts is "a cast of billions”. —The New York Times