The Immortalists, a genial documentary now making the film-festival rounds, reveals the scientific passions and private lives of two leading anti-aging researchers, Aubrey de Grey and Bill Andrews.
Andrews is the CEO of Sierra Sciences, whose slogan is "Cure aging or die trying." De Grey is the founder of Methuselah Foundation and the SENS Research Foundation. "The first person to live to 1,000 might be 60 already," de Grey said in 2004. Straight-arrow Andrews is an ultra-marathoner; luxuriantly bearded de Grey is rarely seen without a pint of stout. Shot over two years, the film shows both men dealing with 80-something parents in declining health. De Grey's mother dies.
At age 60, Andrews marries for the first time. At age 50, de Grey is polyamorously partnered with his 68-year-old wife and two other women, ages 45 and 24. Both men fiercely promote their distinct research agendas with some success. Biologists Leonard Hayflick and Colin Blakemore appear as skeptical counterpoints.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Live Forever or Die Trying".