Hope Frozen: A Quest To Live Twice premiered on 15th September 2020. Directed by Pailin Wedel, the documentary takes us closer to the Naovaratpong family whose daughter is the youngest cryogenically frozen person, after her sudden demise due to brain cancer.
Grief, Hope, and Science!
Hope Frozen: A Quest To Live Twice revolves around the lives of the Naovaratpong family who decided to cryogenically freeze their daughter Einz (meaning love) who, at the age of 2 years, unexpectedly fell into a coma due to a fatal form of brain cancer that has 0% survival rate. After multiple surgeries and procedures, Einz lost her battle. But before her demise, the family contacted a company in Arizona called Alticor, who agreed to cryogenically preserve her remains for the future.
Cryogenically freezing refers to a procedure where an individual’s corpse or severed head is preserved at a low temperature (−196 °C or −320.8 °F) with the speculative hope that resurrection may be possible in the future with technological advancements and treatment availability. The Naovaratpong family took this decision in order to preserve their daughter today but to revive her someday in the future in a better world where there is a cure for her fatal cancer.
The family faced a lot of backlash from the media as everyone believed that the family stopped the child’s soul from reincarnating or trapped the soulless body of their child, and questioned their decision both in the name of science and religion.
The documentary in itself carries a lot of questions related to science, ethics, and religious philosophy. While I felt the plight of the parents and, to an extent, understood what they did and why they did so, on the other hand, their decision stopped them from moving ahead. A piece of them, which is physically dead, still remained in the hope of revival someday. The presence of undying hope and optimism is great but too much of anything can be painful.
While reading more about the whole scenario, I found out that Einz’s body wasn’t preserved, but rather, what remained of her cancer-affected brain. While Einz and brother Matrix shared a heartwarming bond, after her demise, he decided to progressively look forward with hope and inquisitiveness, and contribute towards science. While his decision is very strong and heartwarming, I felt there was a constant, unconscious pressure on him to do something for his sister, something that’ll take years of work with little to no success rate.
Matrix visits the chamber where his sister is kept and places a card on it that read “You are your own unique story.” The sentiment is both strong and odd and speaks volumes.
Stream It or Skip It
STREAM IT! Hope Frozen: A Quest To Live Twice is a story of hope, optimism, love, science, parenthood, and grief. The documentary isn’t exactly loaded with facts and figures but takes you closer to a family who are widely misunderstood and criticized. Definitely, a worthy watch!
The cultural code followed in the documentary takes us closer to the family and does not fancy the mise-en-scene. The simple making and close-knit storyline makes this documentary both heartwarming and heart wrenching. The narrative elements and balance allow it to interact with the viewers, giving them an insight into the reality and the world cryonics!
Hope Frozen: A Quest to Live Twice is now streaming on Netflix.
Read our other reviews here.