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The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

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How to Live Forever shows the story behind aging

As we walked out of the crowded afternoon theater, there was only one thing on our mind. We don’t want to get old. “How to Live Forever,” directed by Mark Wexler, shows the aspects of age and life in a creative, comedy-filled documentary.

The interesting part of this movie is that it was one of the few documentaries that we have actually enjoyed. Placed in the likes of movies that drag on for hours trying to display a single, underlying meaning, How to Live Forever” keeps the viewer interested by thoroughly covering every aspect of death from the science of life extension to senior citizen beauty pageants.

The documentary includes a number of famous seniors, including the late “godfather of fitness” Jack LaLanne, actress Suzanne Somers and comedian Phyllis Diller. All provide a different outlook on age and happiness that director Mark Wexler brilliantly meshes. While LaLanne suggests that you should work your body every day to maintain a perfect form of fitness, Somers believes in taking hormonal pills to simulate youthfulness and Diller welcomes old age and heckles it during her comedy routine.

The film also touches on the science of life extension. Biologist Aubrey de Gray suggests that significant extreme life extension will be possible within 20 years, and frankly, it is spooky. Gray is a naturally spooky person, sporting a face-consuming beard, but his message is even worse. Gray spoke of life extension that could double lifetimes and drastically overcrowd populations.

The late Buster Martin, the man on the movie poster, refused to accept his old age.  From drinking multiple pints of beer a day to smoking cigarettes, Martin had no worries.  He made no changes to his diet while training for the London marathon, which he did end up completing.

The film also shows the patterns of life in different areas of the world.  These places included Okinawa, Japan, where people eat natural foods and keep hobbies throughout their elderly lives.  The people of Okinawa claimed that exercise and staying happy were key factors in making your lifespan longer.

All in all, the movie was enjoyable and gave great insight on the process of aging, especially for those who aren’t near that age yet.

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