The Immortalists

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By Alaina Bradley


Would you want to live forever?

That’s the story behind Tri-C Common Reading of the novel The Postmortal by Drew Magary.

At each campus, Common Reading committees have planned several programs to get students more immersed in the reading. At East Campus, a recent movie screening of the documentary The Immortalists followed two scientists who are trying to find the cure for aging. As the movie’s bio explains, as they battle their own aging and suffer from the loss of loved ones, their scientific purposes become a bit more personal.

“I think The Immortalists tied in well with the theme of The Postmortal, and I appreciate that it explores the question of whether the cure described in the book was a realistic possibility,” said East Common Reading coordinator John Rasel. “I think it focused heavily on what ifs and that it raises more questions than it answered. It definitely makes you think about the implications associated with curing aging, though.”

Rasel speculated on whether a cure for aging could ever become a reality.

“I think that given enough time a cure for aging might be discovered,” he said. “I think it’s more likely that science will find a way to dramatically slow aging before a full blown cure is ever found.”

After the screening of the movie, a panel was held, allowing students to ask professors questions about the movie. What really made it interesting was that the professors tied their opinions of the movie through the subjects they teach, a great way to tie in subjects we learn every day with a movie.

Student Rachel Perkins, 19, said she loved the movie and found the entire event interesting and educational.

“I feel that anything is possible,” she said. “It sure would be nice to live young, forever.”

While Perkins seemed excited about the possibility of the cure, Rasel was humorous and humble when asked if he would get a cure for aging if one was available.

“No way,” he said.” I’m not important enough to live forever. I’d rather see eternal life go to highly gifted scientists, philosophers, etc., in short people who will have a more profound and lasting impact on this planet than I will.”

But if the success of this event was any indication, the book, and the program, had a lasting impact, for which Rasel was grateful.

“I think that our panelists and moderator did a fantastic job with our post-movie discussion, and I’m grateful to the audience for their participation and attendance. I’d also like to thank Casandra Sweeney, Barb Pitrone, and Sarah Szweda for their help organizing this common reading program event.”

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