Published on 4th March 2018 by

Becoming immortal is now at hands reach, thanks to the latest technological innovations. Would you want to become immortal, even if that means preserving your severed head in a cryogenic tank? If aging is considered as a disease, then the cure is immortality. This is not a Black Mirror episode, this is VPRO Backlight: Becoming immortal.

Original title: De Onsterfelijken

Is eternal life reserved only for the rich or the lunatics of the earth? Silicon Valley is fascinated with the concept of overcoming death and rejuvenation. Billions are invested in becoming immortal. The idea is that when aging is considered as a disease, we can also develop a cure for dying and modify the natural lifecycle thanks to age reversing or anti aging therapy.

A tight community of scientists and entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley bear an enormous source of daring capital, like Aubrey de Grey says: ““If you’re not pissing everybody off in this life, then you’re probably not making much of a difference”.
This community is also firmly convinced that our DNA can be cracked in what would becalled: The code of mortality, allowing us all to become immortal.

And if becoming immortal does not happen within their own life span, then it will certainly happen in the following years. Therefore many a millionaire has his own personal cryogenic tank ready for cryopreservation so they can be brought back to life after death. Whether it will be in material form or in the form of a software program (digital immortality) or as nanobots remains to be seen.

Some can not wait that long and use themselves as guinea pigs. All of them hope to become immortal.
The science in the field of life extension is a booming business. The question remains whether everyone can benefit from this groundbreaking knowledge and become immortal.

With: Aubrey de Grey (Scientist), Liz Parrish (Bioviva), Darren Moore (Millionaire) and Kathleen Ann Goonan (Science-fiction writer), Linda Chamberlain (Alcor).
Originally broadcasted by VPRO in 2018.
© VPRO Backlight March 2018

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Credits:
Directed by: Tomas Kaan
English, French and Spanish subtitles: Ericsson.
French and Spanish subtitles are co-funded by European Union.

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