YOUTH By Brett Marly
17 min | Drama, Science Fiction | United States | 2015
OUT OF COMPETITION
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre (FIT) – Friday, October 14th at 2PM
PLAYING IN SHORT FILM SERIES 2
As Joel and Alice approach their golden years, they embark into a brand new world together: a world where their aging selves can be traded in for the bodies of younger strangers, and their love can live on forever. Using most of their life savings, the two schedule their “Renewal” procedures. Alice goes first, transplanting her mind, soul, and personality into a 25-year-old body.
Eagerly awaiting Joel’s procedure a week later, the two begin to make plans and explore their Renewed lives together. Alice’s transformation is exciting and difficult, for both of them. She is elated by her newfound energy and zest for life, but confused and disoriented by a strange body and a new community that she must learn to negotiate. Joel struggles to keep up with his now-young wife, finding comfort in the idea that all these growing pains are only a temporary setback until his own Renewal. But, when medical complications make it impossible for him to undergo the procedure — leaving him imprisoned inside his aging body — he must learn to navigate his relationship with Alice in a world that has left the elderly far behind. Their social group only seems to deepen the rift that has started to grow between them. Their best friends, Stanley and Lorraine, underwent the procedure years before, and are already saving up for their next. These days, everyone seems desperate for the vacuous escape of greater and greater newness.
As the divide between Joel and Alice widens — and the threat of losing Alice becomes more real — Joel tries to find alternative avenues for Renewal. When Stanley refers him to an unlicensed doctor who will agree to the procedure, albeit by way of some grave ethical compromises, Joel must decide how much he is willing to sacrifice to protect Alice and become young again. How far is he willing to go to save himself and his marriage? And what of himself will he really be saving?
Taking a classic dystopian, sci-fi approach, Youth provides a moving and pointed appraisal of our culture, which often values youth above wisdom and distances itself as much as possible from the elderly. It casts a light on our youth-obsessed, technology-saturated, exponentially-changing culture and calls into question the sacrifices we make as a society to keep up with this hyper-momentum. Despite this contemporary twist, Youth is, at its heart, a timeless character study, wherein a man must come to terms with the slow, final, end-of-life evolution of his relationship with his wife and to his own mortality.