Investigation & Politics 52' 90'

Killing death: the hayflick limit

In 1959, American scientist Leonard Hayflick discovered that dividing cells in a cell culture only divided perfectly a limited number of times, between 50 and 70 times. Once this stage is reached, human beings enter into a programmed senescence, in other words: the beginning of death. This crucial moment of life is scientifically called the "Hayflick limit". Today, researchers are trying to reverse this processus and thus to kill death.

Can we extend our lifespan? Social inequalities, eugenics, dependencies, commodification, ethical dilemmas... What are the risks? 

Based on ongoing research, this film offers a journey to the heart of Silicon Valley where the latest technologies promising to realize this utopian dream are being developed. Between genetic rejuvenation therapies and cryogenics, scientists but also people who have decided to try to push back the limits of their own life give their perspective. 

Direction: Thomas Licata

Production: Les Films de la Passerelle & Calisto Productions for RTBF, LCP-Assemblée nationale

Delivery : End of 2022

Selected at 2022 FIPADOC's and Sunny Side of the Doc’s Talent Hub and Doc Around Europe Award at DOK Forum Munich Marketplace.

see also