Life Extended

During the research for the film The Last Supper, Bigert & Bergström came across many stories about the dream of immortality, and realized that this religious dream has gone through a metamorphosis—now, it increasingly appears to have scientific promise.

The film Life Extended examines many of these ideas via the central protagonist, the British gerontologist Aubrey de Grey, who is fully convinced that humans will be rendered immortal in the not-too-distant future. The film also includes interviews with additional subjects: molecular biochemist Cynthia Kenyon, who claims that “today, aging is subject to control”; Architects Against Death, who construct spaces to slow down the aging process; the Japanese monk Fujinami Genshin Ajari, who ran for a thousand days straight in order to strengthen his spirit for its immortal journey; a group of Mumbai street children, who live in the moment; and many others.

Life Extended’s interviews and tableaux are structured around the form of the Rolodex, in which information is bound in a circular, unending loop; between each interlude, the Rolodex cards flip and new information is revealed. The people in the film run toward the camera as if in a relay race, challenging the orthodox static image of the staircase of life and creating an associative train of thought in motion.

The film was made from 2006 to 2008, filmed on location in Japan, India, the United States, England, and Sweden.

Illustration by Johan Mets



Doc Lounge, Stockholm, 2009
Documentary Fortnight, MoMA, New York, 2009
6th Planete Doc, Warsaw, 2009
Docville International Film Festival, Leuven, 2009
Uppsala International Short Film Festival, 2009
1st International Film Festival, Kos, 2009
6° Raccontare Il Vero, Parma, 2010
Full Frame International Film Festival, Durham, 2010

Excerpts from the film

"Life Extended," 2009
57 min. HD
Written and directed by
Bigert & Bergström 2008

Director of Photography 
Charlie Drevstam

Studio Camera Assistant
Björn Köling

High-Speed Camera
Per Olof Rosén, Prosolv

Felix Bigert-Mohr
Mattias Hambraeus
Jasper van den Brink
Cherag Cama

Studio Light Electrician
Stein-Olav Trones

Daniel Jonsäter

Assistant Editor
Thomas Lee

Graphic Design
Johan Hjerpe
Anders Jandér

Adam Stjärnljus, Kalle Sandzén

Bez Habibnia, Daniel Westlund

Digital Effects, On-Line
The Chimney Pot, Nicklas Holmgren, Guffe Funck

Jonas Jangvald
The Chimney Pot

Carl Michael von Hausswolff
Jean-Louis Huhta
Edvard Graham Lewis

Sound Design and Mix
Thomas Huhn

Scenography Assistant
Anders Hellström

Technic Constructor
Lars Hässler

Man in Corridor
Lars Nilsen
People in Incubator
Elliot Guest
Alexander Lindefalk
Joel Kustus
Hektor Wedin
Stig Gustin
Gunnar Hellgren

Location Research
Junko Yoda, Japan
Dinaz Lynn, Indien
Mattias Hambraeus, USA

Dinaz Lynn
Naoko Kawano
Sina Najafi


Production Manager
Mattias Hambraeus

Special Thanks
La Specola, Florence
Musee Ville Laon
John-Cage-Kunst-Orgel-Projekt, Halberstadt
Dep. Materials Science KTH, Stockholm
Active Kids
PSI Antonsson
Martina Bigert
Erik Pauser
Thomas Nordanstad
Björn Watz

Produced by Bigert & Bergström and Jonas Kellagher,
Eight Millimetres in collaboration with SVT Stockholm,
Arts & Culture, commissioning editor Vera Bonnier.
And with support from: DR, NRK, YLE. Nordiska TV-samarbetsfonden
(The Nordic Film and TV-fund). The Swedish Film Institute,
film consultant Tove Torbjörnsson. The Swedish Arts Grants Committee. 
Developed with the support of The MEDIA Programme of 
the European Community.
All rights reserved © Bigert & Bergström 2008

Cast/People interview in the film

Brian Manning, 
Philosopher and President 
Calorie Restriction Society 
Los Angeles, USA

Architects Against Death
New York/Tokyo

Cecilia Sjöholm
Associate Professor in Literature
Södertörns University

Laureen Williams
100 m Sprinter
Miami, USA

Martha Pineda
Life Time Inmate 
Broward Prison
Florida, USA

Michael Doser
Particle Physician
CERN, Switzerland

Gaby Wood
New York, USA

Aubrey De Grey
Founder Methuselah Foundation
Cambridge, UK

Ray Kurzweil
Boston, USA

Cynthia Kenyon
Molecular Biologist
UC San Francisco, USA

Jonathan Ames
Brooklyn, USA

Antoine Berner
Raëlian Guide
Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Fujinami Genshin Ajari
Marathon Monk
Mount Hiei, Japan

Khaja Anwar Sheikh
Yasin Kader Sheikh
Nasir Kader Sheikh
Rajar Ramzan Raute
Street Kids, Bombay, India

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