The Price of Life

Institute History

  • 1988 Sundance Film Festival


The Price of Life is set in a world in which time is literally money—in which the twenty minutes paid for a pack of cigarettes or the three-and-a half years paid for a car—actually shortens the buyer’s life by that much time. In this world, only those clever or ruthless enough to learn the ways of time-dealing and speculation have any hope of living past their forties; the rest live brief lives of poverty and desolation.

Director/Writer Stephen Tolkin tells the story of a young man named Zachary and the moral choices he makes on his path through this world: a path from poverty to enormous wealth, from compassion to ruthlessness, from the prospect of an early death to the promise of near immortality.

— Tony Safford

Screening Details

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