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Kill Japan's elderly? Cannes film probes chilling idea

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By Jurgen Hecker

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This idea was already floated in the eco-facist dystopian movie called Soylent Green.

27 ( +34 / -7 )

Reminds me of a project film called “Senior Battle Royale.” A horror comedy parody of the movie Battle Royale, where, instead of teenagers, senior citizens duke it out to solve the aging population crisis.

It never finished production, for obvious reasons.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

For those who believe in free choice (me) it sounds like reasonable plan.

TI have always thought that the scene in Soylent Green where Edward G Robinson "goes home" is about the only human moment in the film. Very moving.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

Maybe the director , should of wrote put in life insurance policy , before you do it,only in Japan

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Japan is the most rapidly-aging industrial society, a trend that is causing huge economic and political problems as a dwindling number of younger people must support a growing army of the old.

In these situations it is mostly a question of artificial scarcity of resources. In the fictional dystopias and in the political economy of the capitalist societies we live in, resources that could be used for the betterment of society and the needs of the many are hoarded by a parasitic clique. In Japan they go by the name of the LDP and their cronies in Japan Inc.

18 ( +24 / -6 )

Something went wrong otherwise you won't have an aging process at that speed. Somethinghas tobe looked at and corrected.

Interesting movie.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

This idea was already floated in the eco-facist dystopian movie called Soylent Green.

and don’t forget about Logan’s Run

22 ( +24 / -2 )

She said she interviewed older people as part of her research for the movie, and discovered that many found merit with the idea of buying financial security with their willingness to end their life.

what a sad place to live, years in this country and I still cant grasp what's about with this obsession with death. Almost as if they don't value themselves as human beings. Last night watched this show where the k-pop dance instructor called one of his 14year old pupils to ask her to improve this this and that. Next moment she's crying in ther corner mumbling things like "watashi nande ikiteru no" (what's the point of even living). Like what the heck is wrong with these people

11 ( +15 / -4 )

This subject was well addressed in Star Trek TNG episode "Half a Life".

8 ( +9 / -1 )

What a stupid thing to put in the media!

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

""When I was young, a long life was considered to be a good thing, people had respect for older people. That's no longer the case," the 45-year-old director added.""

NOT TRUE, it's all in your head mam, people still have respect for everyone including the elderly, Long life still as good even better with modern medicines and care so why is she painting such a dark picture of being old??

Simple, she got the spotlight and the PR to promote her sick Ideology.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

This is done traditionally in other places like Sardinia (https://econtent.hogrefe.com/doi/10.1027/0227-5910/a000200). It could be argued that more recently the covid response in the UK and New York in particular where infected elderly were sent into care homes was the same thing (https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-61227709) then given large quantities of sedatives to 'ease their suffering' (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12100515/care-homes-accused-sedatives-coronavirus-die-quickly/, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8514081/Number-prescriptions-drug-midazolam-doubled-height-pandemic.html).

These kinds of practices are probably more common than you would suspect, but they do take place in situations away from public life even in developed countries (e.g. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3782767/). Euthanasia is traditionally viewed as prohibited by the medical community but attitudes have been changing recently (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11019-019-09929-z). There is a risk of people being bullied into it somehow, or the consent forms being falsified, and so on. The alternative may be a form of concentration camp (as in the original meaning where people are just moved together) for people who are dependent on the state.

I recommend saving up a large quantity of money and having many children to avoid this fate...

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Interesting movie.

Other Japanese movie winners sounded interesting but were dark, long and boring upon viewing.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Every country should have some form of Carousel like in Logan's Run.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Simple, she got the spotlight and the PR to promote her sick Ideology.

Where did you get the idea that she is supporting elderly euthanasia?

10 ( +18 / -8 )

Good idea, not a new idea, but good anyway!

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Better than lying down on a hospital bed with tubes sticking out of your every orifice no dignity wishing to die, but not allowed to!!!

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Sadly, it seems most people are unaware that humanity is on the cusp of a radical revolution in which much of the fragility and weakening the body we associate with aging can be largely mitigated, and in some cases even reversed, such that many people could realistically expect to remain physically active and productive for 120 years plus. I'd encourage everyone to google Dr. David Sinclair and the information theory of aging, perhaps read his book Lifespan or listen to his podcast of the same name.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Not a very original concept/idea for a film.

This has been done with multiple variations.

With Soylent Green in 1976

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green

Logan's Run in 1976

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logan%27sRun(film)

Even Star Trek The next Generation in 1991

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half_aLife(Star_Trek:_The_Next_Generation)

Hasn't this been beaten to death yet as a movie/TV show concept yet?

I guess seeing those at this event are probably born after 1991 or were to young at that time, this may be new to them.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

and don’t forget about Logan’s Run

Jenny Agutter and Farrah Fawcett won't let me forget.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

“In the movie, anybody over 75 is encouraged to sign up for a deal with the government by which they receive a sum of money in return for agreeing to be euthanised. A collective funeral is thrown in for free.”

how do you spend the money if ya dead? Is the offer made earlier?…

0 ( +4 / -4 )

MarkToday  08:19 am JST

""When I was young, a long life was considered to be a good thing, people had respect for older people. That's no longer the case," the 45-year-old director added.""

NOT TRUE, it's all in your head mam, people still have respect for everyone including the elderly, Long life still as good even better with modern medicines and care so why is she painting such a dark picture of being old??

It is true. Long life has become a big problem because the whole pension and healthcare system is designed around the premise that most people will live only another decade at most after retirement. It doesn't work so well when much higher numbers of people are retiring aged 65 and continuing to need pensions and medical care into their 80s or 90s.

Simple, she got the spotlight and the PR to promote her sick Ideology.

What "sick ideology?" Didn't you read anything else she said?

"On the face of it, the government's Plan 75 is full of goodwill and friendliness and pragmatism, but in truth it is both very cruel and shameful," Hayakawa told AFP in an interview.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

"On the face of it, the government's Plan 75 is full of goodwill and friendliness and pragmatism, but in truth it is both very cruel and shameful," Hayakawa told AFP in an interview.

The danger of satire is that it can be easily misunderstood. I sense it is close to Swift's "A Modest Proposal" in which the satire creates a proposal for eating Irish babies.

The reality of "useless" old people is essentially an urban and conservative idea aimed at elderly working class people. In traditional rural communities old people are generally not suddenly pushed aside.

In academia we have our own form of "euthanasia." Public universities boot you at 65 and private universities do it you at 70. Academics generally want to keep going. As do artists, including movie makers.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

how do you spend the money if ya dead? Is the offer made earlier?…

I will guess it is a more "elaborate" version of that in Soylent Green where they get a nice meal of "real food" something rare at the time a beautiful Day then killed.

I am guess this reworked idea ( not original to this woman) is the elderly get a load of money to spend extravagantly like on trips expensive dinners top hotels then they're killed!

This has been done in several movies most crap and countless Syfy TV series episodes.

It is sad to see people react like this woman had such a novel idea or came up with this.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Hey folks calm down!

It is a movie and not even and original idea for a movie at that.

Cool it on the hyperbole "this is coming" or anything along that line.

We have had these same themed movies for decades this was the concept of Soylent Green, Logan's Run, etc...

And here we are nearly 50 years after Soylent Green and nothing has happened.

Relax

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Wow people argue over everything, it’s just a movie ….

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Squid Game for old people instead of broke people.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Narayamabushiko first filmed in 1952 with a remake in 1983 covers the same ground. Only the age of consent is lowered to 70. And a beautiful yet frightening movie.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The Ballad of Narayama (楢山節考, Narayama Bushikō) is a 1983 Japanese film by director Shōhei Imamura. It stars Sumiko Sakamoto as Orin, Ken Ogata, and Shoichi Ozawa. It is an adaptation of the book Narayama bushikō by Shichirō Fukazawa and slightly inspired by the 1958 film directed by Keisuke Kinoshita. Both films explore the legendary practice of ubasute, in which elderly people were carried to a mountain and abandoned to die. Imamura's film won the Palme d'Or at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ballad_ofNarayama(1983_film)

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Kill Japan's elderly? Cannes film probes chilling idea.

Whatever reasons there may be, 'Plan 75' is absolutely disgusting & insulting, attempting to deprive the rights of elders 75 & above to live on.

As healthcare improves, many remain physically fit & mentally active to work..

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Euthanasia, ending the life of a patient to limit the patient's suffering.

If my aging local community, Ino, Kochi decided to collectively end their lives, in some absurd government inspired belief that such an act would ideologically create a utopian society is truly certifiably deranged.

I am sure Chie Hayakawa has crafted a thought-provoking cinema experience.

The majority my family are over 70, they are loved and cherished by grandchildren.  Can you imagine the emotional devastation of a government, encouraging Grandma and Grandpa to affectingly succumb to a behavioural act that could cause lifelong mental trauma?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Kill Japan's elderly? Cannes film probes chilling idea.

Whatever reasons there may be, 'Plan 75' is absolutely disgusting & insulting, attempting to deprive the rights of elders 75 & above to live on.

In the rush to be offended so many people neglect to actually read.

The film is criticizing the idea, as the director states several times in the article handily provided above.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Chie Hayakawa does have a point though...

Remember Tarō Asō gaf....

 “I recently saw someone as old as 90 on television, saying how the person was worried about the future. I wondered, ‘How much longer do you intend to keep living?’ “

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Japan, like many if not most "developed" countries (including my country, the United States), values (economic) pragmatism over human dignity. In the end, what counts is the bottom line, although in "Plan 75" this grim reality is sugar coated. Perhaps old people being pressured to be put to death in Japan would be told "living at your age is selfish; just think of other people!" If the State took this line, I'm sure many people would choose to go along with it, i.e., "I shouldn't cause trouble for other people."

Everyone in this society is supposed to be "happy," with a smile on their face. But the "happiness" they embrace is empty.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This Japanese movie is a magpie project - been done before, but the work will have to be judged on its own merits. Perhaps the most interesting forerunner is "La Guerra del Cerdo" (the War of the Pig), a not altogether successful 1975 S. American movie based on the much superior book of the Argentine legendary writer, Adolfo Bioy Casares. The twist in this work of fantasy for an Argentine audience is that reality soon overtook fiction and flipped the script when from 1976 to 1983 the "Dirty War" (state terrorism waged by the ruling fascist junta) was the term for the cruel and brutal homicidal man-hunt on the youth of the country by old men.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Both films explore the legendary practice of ubasute, in which elderly people were carried to a mountain and abandoned to die. Imamura's film won the Palme d'Or at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival.

Also "mabiki" at the other end of the generational scale and not a cultural tradition to be treasured of Japan.

Even during disease and bad crops and famine and war, the tithe of crops to the local lord had to be made, even it would mean the culling of unwanted children or other "unproductive" members of village society.

The "lords" of today similarly take a heavy toll on those they deem "unproductive human resources" as their needs must always be fulfilled first.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan is the most rapidly-aging industrial society, a trend that is causing huge economic and political problems as a dwindling number of younger people must support a growing army of the old.

So, the old keep getting older? I was under the impression that life has both an entry point and exit.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@ Dagon

Yes, I was just thinking that abandoning the elderly on a mountain to perish was a practice carried out in Japan

…….

And yes, I would say that the elderly in Japan (and all over) are viewed with more weary eyes especially in the age of the nuclear family and much smaller living spaces.

Yet, strangely enough the rich and famous are feted for their old age where they have a retinue to care for them.

So, the message is put money away for your old age!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This idea was already floated in the eco-facist dystopian movie called Soylent Green.

Apparently in the old days, you piggy back the grandmother or mother up the mountain when they turn 60 and abandon them there 姨捨山.

Does anyone know of any Japanese films that show that?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Didn't Canada just make a similar thing happen? They now offer euthanasia to the poor.

Honestly, the world is inching towards a future where we'd have suicide booths on the street. There is even something called 'Sarco pod' in Switzerland, already.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

An ancient Pagan custom that has manifested itself in numerous cultures around the world. No film, book, media, has ownership.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A perfect fit for the society that pioneered ‘just in time’. Her (“8 out of 10 chance of becoming reality”) dystopian vision has already been foreshadowed by Japan's finance minister Taro Aso who is on record as saying that the elderly should be allowed to "hurry up and die" instead of costing the government money for end-of-life medical care. You cannot sleep well when you think it's all paid by the government. "This won't be solved unless you let them hurry up and die," he said.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Got to say Japan's baby boomers are living it large.

They didn't experience the war or most of the post-war hardships.

They had tons of jobs to choose from,huge bubble-era bonuses,hardly any tax for most of their lives, they kept voting in the same LDP government who kept feathering their and their voters' nests resulting in the shambles that we have arrived at now.

They can live out the rest of their lives content in the knowledge that Japan's economy will keep flickering until they are gone.

They know that poorly paid care workers will be taking care of their every whim.

The poor sods who retire after them are going to be in a world of trouble.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Does anyone know of any Japanese films that show that?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fgyni2ejxW0

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Legalised voluntary euthanasia is the door through which this scenario will eventually almost certainly slip through. All part of global elite's plan to drastically reduce population.

It always amazes me how those who promote population reduction and death of the unborn and aged are not offering to voluntarily remove themselves from the population. "I get to enjoy life. Not you!"

0 ( +4 / -4 )

"They are frustrated and angry because they work hard to support the elderly, but they think that, when it's their turn, there may be nobody to support them,"

There will be if they have enough children. In most cases no need to be frustrated.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Many of the old in Japan have money, training, and interests. If they had the opportunity to work for a reasonable income, they would do so. Many of the young in Japan are lazy, twisted, and bored. They can’t cook for themselves or form healthy relationships. Creating an alternate dystopian vision would just need a little adjustment.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

KhaosToday  01:11 pm JST

Didn't Canada just make a similar thing happen? They now offer euthanasia to the poor.

Honestly, the world is inching towards a future where we'd have suicide booths on the street. There is even something called 'Sarco pod' in Switzerland, already.

I think it's only in the province of Quebec. People have an option to choose euthanasia if they are in palliative care. Usually the elderly, terminally ill, and those in severe pain.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

My own next personal movie : plan 120.

To each his own.

It may not be a new concept from that Japanese director but still good to show some ideas that are not discussed enough.

Truth is physically you can not have more and more elderly to care of (medicine and caregovers time) and less and less resources (production from the able). There is a breakpoint. No shame to expose it.

People who have not been able (or in fact were unwillingly for most) to keep enough resources for later are bound in the future to be more and more under pressure.

I don't think any society will make law for euthanaesia, as there are many in betweens bfmefore reaching that stage.

I wish long life to all. But better be ready !

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Could you imagine the Utopia. Political decisions being made by people who will live long enough to see the consequences. Wealth distributed to the younger generations, who will become less tied up with work, and have more time for thought and innovation. Safe roads, no waiting at hospitals, lower taxes. Perfect.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This film seems prophetic. What worldview of Japanese society holds that every human being has intrinsic value or that purposefully taking the life of an innocent being is objectively wrong? Christianity, yes, but what other worldview?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If many over 75s were euthanised in Japan, one result may be a food shortage or at least a shortage of Japanese rice. Many farmers are over 75. In fact, in a few years I would not be surprised if the average age of farmers was 75.

There seems to be an idea that the young must support the old whereas it would be more realistic to say that the old paid for support when they were young but the government borrowed that money and then decided they did not to pay it back because they could turn the system into a ponzi scheme.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is a tough issue. No doubt about it. I volunteered with hundreds of people who were close to EOL (End Of Life) for seven years. At first, it was an empathetic experience. Then it became (hidden to them) rather piteous. And finally, unbearable, especially after watching young relatives and my own father and step-mother take their last breaths. Tough issue. Glad I left it behind. But when my time comes, I want to make the sentient decision myself to have me put to sleep permanently. Leave nothing undone. Plan for it. It's not depressing to do that, it's logical.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

There's a Sci-Fi book called "Old Man's War" (2005), where people age 65 and older can choose to "legally die" on their 75th birthday on Earth never allowed to return, get shipped into space to become part of the Colonial Defense Forces who protect human interplanetary colonists, have their DNA used to create a younger body, get the content of their brains copied into that younger body and ....

Scalzi wrote a hole series based on this premise. Quite an excellent book.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Man%27s_War

This book seems like a follow on to "The Forever War" (1975) by Halderman, which doesn't use the older people premise.

As for plagiarization, pretty much every author does to some extent. Star Wars is filled with ideas from Shakespeare. Lucas had Cliff's Notes for all the Shakespeare books at his fingertips while creating every Star Wars movie script. The only thing he did that was original, was to use parsec incorrectly, then in a much later movie used a trick to explain why that fit, just to correct a dumb mistake made in the 1970s.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

In 1968 American novelist Kurt Vonnegut Jr. published a famous short story about voluntary euthanasia performed at "federal ethical suicide parlors," titled "Welcome to the Monkey House." It takes place at a future time when the world's population has reached 17 billion. Keeping with his reputation for black humor, Vonnegut actually manages to make it funny.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If it’s fiction, here’s a better plot.

Why not develop a test that’s administered every five years to determine everyone’s fitness to continue living? Imagine a woman passing the test again and again until age 95 and a young, ne’er-do-well lad failing at 25. Fair, no?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well, the article is in Entertainment, even if some of us are not entertained.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sounds like another take on the Logan's Run theme of bumping off people at a certain age.

I find it very very sinister - Logan's Run is set quite far into the future, but this sounds like it could be tomorrow, and I really don't like that.

In a society where the young already resent the old, this sounds like something that could really happen, and you'd have kids forcing their parents and grandparents to die just so they can enjoy their lives. It's horrible.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Not sure why people are harping on the fact that it's "not an original idea". There are plenty of movies out there that we all enjoy that are HARDLY original ideas. (Superhero movies, action movies, rom coms...) Most ideas are done and redone and redone many times over. I think what makes this piece unique is seeing this idea from the Japanese perspective, especially considering that such an idea could feasibly become reality in the future of this country. Maybe watch the movie first and see what you think about it before dismissing it as "not original".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The young resenting the old doesn't sound at all like it is in accordance with the teachings of Buddhism to me. I think the young resentful ones will all too soon find themselves in middle age. The resentfulness will tend to disappear.

What there is a lot of in this society, and all other societies, really is fear-motivated thinking. People can be quite irrational in the face of deeply seated fears. Everyone needs to focus on at least maintaining basic common courtesy and patience with those who move more slowly, or have disabilities. In my daily life in Tokyo I see plenty of gentle, kind people.

It's so important to keep isolated people regularly socially engaged in something positive. There are many social services and facilities available for just that, especially in urban environments.

Life is not easy, no matter what the age group. Let's be kind to one another, for starters. I hope the Japanese Constitution will be effective in preventing the government from engaging in far-fetched, science-fiction like projects to end life. The responsibility of any good government is to support life.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

She said she interviewed older people as part of her research for the movie, and discovered that many found merit with the idea of buying financial security with their willingness to end their life.

"It would alleviate the stress of wondering how they can survive once they are alone. Choosing the moment and the method of their death could be very reassuring," she said.

She said the approach would find support among the younger generations, too.

"If such a plan was on the table today, I believe that many people would accept it, even welcome it as a viable solution," she said.

Man, the Japanese would literally kill themselves before they consider letting in immigrants, huh?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Killing a fellow human for convince, economic or otherwise is wrong and imoral period.

Keeping the elderly healthy, safe, comfortable and pain free should be the focus and compared the the USA Japan does a much better job at it in my opinion.

As countries like Japan and the USA spend billions of dollars helping others throughout the world I can only help to think our priorities are skewed and much of that money would be better spent taking care of its own citizens. Just my thoughts.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The movie should be banned worldwide since it perpetuate genocide. People of Japan must be grateful to the elderly because without them, Japan will not exist. The young generation must be active in government affairs to provide the best policy option to address the issue like immigration for the best and brightest, robotics, artificial intelligence and electric vehicles. May God be always with Japan.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I can see Japanese going for this kind of thing.

As I have said for a few decades now Japan has two major problems with its population, first elderly, can the country survive as they ride off into the sunset. Second, births, dropping fast in actual overall numbers, Japan's population pyramid is FAT at the top & NARROW at the bottom.

Does NOT bode well for the future here.....and the govt.....mostly leaves the elderly to die off alone or let them kill each other.....so again would not be surprised to see Japanese have an interest in ""Plan 75""

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Actually I do not just give the elderly blanket respect any more than any other age. It totally depends on their attitude, they still have to earn my respect.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is a problem that is very easy to fix. It's called "immigration".

The core problem is not an aging population. The core problem is an unwillingness to mix their society with foreign immigrants. To the extent where they would even consider the "Soylent Green" route. It's a mental illness.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The idea is nothing new, and has been done with Soylent Green, Logan's Run, Star Trek, and even in satire written in the 18th century (although that was about homeless and not limited to the elderly). I would be interested, however, in seeing if there is anything unique in this director's take on it. Could be good. I hope she didn't recycle any celebrities, like putting in Kimtaku, to destroy it before it starts, though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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