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Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Hope Frozen: A Quest to Live Twice’ on Netflix, a Strange and Beautiful Documentary About Grief, Loss and Love

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Netflix documentary Hope Frozen: A Quest to Live Twice chronicles how a Thai family had their two-year-old daughter cryogenically frozen after she passed away due to brain cancer. The story made international headlines, but director Pailin Wedel goes deeper, spending significant time with the girl’s scientist parents and budding-scientist teenage brother, broaching wide-ranging topics from pragmatism to spirituality.

The Gist: When he was a kid, the aerator on Sahatorn Naovaratpong’s goldfish tank stopped working overnight. The fish were floating. His mother had him put the fish on ice, allowing them to revive half of them later. In 2012, Sahatorn, who owns and operates a “laser factory” in Thailand, and his wife Nareerat became parents for the second time. Their son Matrix always wanted a sibling, and is overjoyed upon meeting his baby sister, who they called Einz — Japanese and Chinese for “love.”

Einz was two when she unexpectedly fell into a coma. She had a form of brain cancer that’s essentially a death sentence. Multiple surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy followed. About a month shy of her third birthday, Einz died. But prior to that, the family contacted a company in Arizona called Alticor, who agreed to cryogenically preserve her remains. Sahatorn believes that science will be able to reanimate her someday, and in that idea he invests all his hope. He’s interviewed on many TV news programs about the technology and why the family chose this path for Einz.

We see the family visit Alcor; they grieve and pray at the chrome canister in a laboratory — where Einz’s brain is preserved — like one might do at a loved one’s gravesite. This family is wholly devoted to science, but also devout practicers of buddhism. Sahatorn and Matrix discuss how specific dreams affect their lives. Matrix, 15 years old when the film was made, is passionate and dedicated to scientific practices, but in honor of his sister, he has his head shaved and becomes ordained as a novice Buddhist monk. Matrix then travels to the U.S. to meet a scientist who won awards for freezing and reviving a rabbit’s brain, and faces a series of revelations about the technology his family used to keep Einz’s brain viable on a cellular level.

Hope Frozen: A Quest to Live Twice
Photo: Netflix

What Movies Will It Remind You Of?: The philosophical and ethical questions are indelibly burned into the subject matter, but as soon as Matrix and Sahatorn begin talking about dreams, you’ll feel the specter of Werner Herzog’s big-question documentaries in the room — Wedel’s tone and innate curiosity brings to mind Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World and Encounters at the End of the World.

Performance Worth Watching: Matrix is the heart of the movie — his scientific and spiritual journeys illustrate how he’s committed to understanding the nature of the human soul from both philosophical and rational perspectives.

Memorable Dialogue: “One day, if you wake up and watch this video, maybe hundreds of years from now, we want you to know we love you.” — Sahatorn records a video for Einz

Sex and Skin: None.

Our Take: Hope Frozen shows us where grief, science, religion, hope and despair meet — and it’s a cloudy place where the seed of absolutism can find no purchase. Except maybe the assertion that science will find a way, as Sahatorn at one point extrapolates, “We may have time travel by then,” showing unerring devotion to mankind’s ability to someday achieve what we now deem almost impossible. Most compelling is the Naovaratpong family’s holistic understanding of life; Western sensibilities posit science and religion as binary opposites, but for these Thai people, it seems as if the human soul is merely waiting to be discovered and explained by the rigors of science, in a day, a week or millennia from now.

Such is the film’s ecstatic truth. Ultimately, though, it’s more intuitive than informational. Wedel all but acts on the assumption that we’ve read some of the many news stories about Einz and pondered the ethical concerns, and therefore takes the story further; it took an internet search to find the family’s surname and clarify that Einz’s body wasn’t preserved, but rather, what remained of her cancer-ravaged brain. More on Alticor would be beneficial for context, too (it’s the same company that famously cryogenically froze baseball star Ted Williams). Such details don’t seem as crucial as Wedel’s exploration of the incalculable desperation incurred by devastating loss, or the subtle rumination on the nature of what makes us human: Suffering perhaps, memory certainly, a mind and soul and intellect indelibly.

Like his parents, Matrix doesn’t exhibit signs of extreme grief — possibly due to cultural differences — but instead, an ability to look progressively forward, with hope and inquisitiveness. In the film’s most subtly powerful moment, Matrix places a greeting card on the chamber containing his sister and it reads, “You are your own unique story.” What an odd sentiment that is, until you fully consider the goal of his quest.

Our Call: STREAM IT. Wisely, Hope Frozen sidesteps every opportunity to sensationalize this strange story. You’ll wish it was more factually thorough, but its willingness to tackle big questions is its strength.

John Serba is a freelance writer and film critic based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Read more of his work at johnserbaatlarge.com or follow him on Twitter: @johnserba.

Stream Hope Frozen: A Quest to Live Twice on Netflix

Entertainment

A ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Season 29 Elimination Tracker for Everyone Too Lazy to Actually Watch

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Much like the Little Engine That Could, Dancing with the Stars is still chugging along through this pandemic. And now we’ve *officially* started the process of eliminating the contestants based on votes from you. Yes, you!

We’ll be tracking which celebrity gets voted off each week because lord knows there’s nothing else on TV to engage with at the moment (other than The Masked Singer, shudder), but just a friendly reminder: if we, the people, can take the time to vote on DWTS, we can definitely take the time to vote in the upcoming presidential election, so I’m just gonna go ahead and casually…put…this….right….here….

Kay, without further ado, here’s who was voted off Dancing with the Stars this week:

The First Elimination

The celebrity and pro dancer pairs in jeopardy this week were Charles Oakley and Emma Slater + Carole “Definitely Didn’t Feed My Husband to Tigers” Baskin and Pasha Pashkov. The judges made their decision based on two weeks worth of dancing, but here’s what they were dealing with this week:

This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Derek Hough ended up breaking a tie between his fellow judges by saving Carole and Pasha—meaning Charles Oakley was sent home. Bummer, but at least we’ll get to see Carole wear yet another tiger-inspired costume.

This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

As a reminder, here’s who’s left!

  • Cheer coach Monica Aldama
  • The Bachelorette’s Kaitlyn Bristowe
  • Super Bowl champ Vernon Davis
  • Actress Anne Heche
  • Actress Skai Jackson
  • Actress Justina Machado
  • The Backstreet Boys’ AJ McLean
  • The Real host Jeannie Mai
  • Actor Jesse Metcalfe
  • Rapper Nelly
  • Catfish host Nev Schulman
  • Selling Sunset’s Chrishell Stause
  • Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir
  • Tiger King star Carole Baskin

    Due to not having much of a life, I’ll be updating this tracker every week. Stay tuned!

      This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

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A ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Season 29 Elimination Tracker for Everyone Too Lazy to Actually Watch

Published

on

By

Much like the Little Engine That Could, Dancing with the Stars is still chugging along through this pandemic. And now we’ve *officially* started the process of eliminating the contestants based on votes from you. Yes, you!

We’ll be tracking which celebrity gets voted off each week because lord knows there’s nothing else on TV to engage with at the moment (other than The Masked Singer, shudder), but just a friendly reminder: if we, the people, can take the time to vote on DWTS, we can definitely take the time to vote in the upcoming presidential election, so I’m just gonna go ahead and casually…put…this….right….here….

Kay, without further ado, here’s who was voted off Dancing with the Stars this week:

The First Elimination

The celebrity and pro dancer pairs in jeopardy this week were Charles Oakley and Emma Slater + Carole “Definitely Didn’t Feed My Husband to Tigers” Baskin and Pasha Pashkov. The judges made their decision based on two weeks worth of dancing, but here’s what they were dealing with this week:

This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Derek Hough ended up breaking a tie between his fellow judges by saving Carole and Pasha—meaning Charles Oakley was sent home. Bummer, but at least we’ll get to see Carole wear yet another tiger-inspired costume.

This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

As a reminder, here’s who’s left!

  • Cheer coach Monica Aldama
  • The Bachelorette’s Kaitlyn Bristowe
  • Super Bowl champ Vernon Davis
  • Actress Anne Heche
  • Actress Skai Jackson
  • Actress Justina Machado
  • The Backstreet Boys’ AJ McLean
  • The Real host Jeannie Mai
  • Actor Jesse Metcalfe
  • Rapper Nelly
  • Catfish host Nev Schulman
  • Selling Sunset’s Chrishell Stause
  • Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir
  • Tiger King star Carole Baskin

    Due to not having much of a life, I’ll be updating this tracker every week. Stay tuned!

      This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

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Southern Charm’s Season 7 Trailer Teases Kathryn Dennis’ Drinking, White Privilege, Austen Kroll’s Relationship Drama, More

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Bap a do! The Southern Charm cast is back and bringing the drama in the first trailer for season 7 of the Bravo series.

Craig Conover kicks off the trailer by slamming friend Austen Kroll for his continuous relationship issues with Madison LeCroy.

“When you’re in an unhealthy relationship, you start acting like a little bitch,” Craig, 31, says before asking Madison, 29, if she even loves the beer maker.

The trailer then switches to the hairstylist telling her on-again, off-again boyfriend that they need to go their “separate ways.” She later taunts him, calling Austen, 33, a “beta bitch” while at one of the group’s extravagant gatherings.

Fans also get a glimpse at a possible new love interest for Madison in newcomer John Pringle, who tells Craig their relationship status is “TBD.”

Leva Bonaparte, John Pringle, Kathryn Dennis, Shep Rose, Austen Kroll, Madison LeCroy and Craig Conover John Valkos/Tommy Garcia/Bravo

Season 7 of the Bravo series promises even more tension that usual, having been filmed amid the coronavirus pandemic quarantine and during the Black Lives Matters protests.

“For me it’s about the change I want to see in this little southern town of mine,” newcomer Leva Bonaparte tells the Charleston crew.

Southern belle Patricia Altschul is briefly shown having her butler, Michael Kelcourse, disinfect a box sent to her house amid the COVID-19 crisis, while Shep Rose reveals that someone he knows contracted the virus.

Viewers get a peek at all things Kathryn Dennis as well, including her drinking problems, friendship drama with Danni Baird and her alleged racist remarks.

“Oh, my gosh, what is she doing? She’s off the wagon,” Kathryn, 29, says in the clip, poking fun at herself after being seen taking a shot. She later claims that “she’s the furthest thing from racist” after a statue of her relative, former vice president John C. Calhoun, is taken down in Charleston due to his association with slavery.

The explosive trailer didn’t leave out original cast member, Thomas Ravenel, although he was only mentioned by name. “Thomas got a girl pregnant and she’s having the baby,” Kathryn spilled to Danni, 36, referencing Thomas’ newest baby, son Jonathan, who he welcomed with ex-girlfriend Heather Mascoe in July.

The teaser for the upcoming season of the reality series came after serious cast shakeups earlier this year.

Original star Cameran Eubanks announced her departure from the show, in May 2020, saying she “must protect what is sacred” and that “some things aren’t worth a big paycheck.”

Her shocking exit came after her husband, Jason Wimberly, was “falsely dragged” into drama surrounding the show and Cameron, 36, following “ridiculous and fake rumors” about her marriage and Jason allegedly having a mistress.

The same month, Naomi Olindo, whose dating drama with Craig hooked fans in year after year, confirmed she wouldn’t be returning to the series.

A source later confirmed to Us Weekly that Chelsea Meissner and Eliza Limehouse were also out for season 7.

Season 7 of Southern Charm premieres on Bravo on Thursday, October 29, at 9 p.m. ET.

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