Valve may be going through a moral crisis when it comes to loli waifus and the holocaust that gamers are trying to prevent from taking place with anime-oriented games on the Steam platform, but someone at Valve seems nonplussed at the idea of having controversial documentaries hosted on the platform, regardless of how macabre the subject matter may be. Fade To Black seems to be a perfect illustration of that nonchalant attitude Valve has towards opening up the platform to more… socially divisive content.
The movie follows Peter Short, the CEO of Shell Coles Express in Australia, which racks up more than $6 billion in revenue a year. Short is diagnosed with a seemingly incurable form of esophageal cancer and he’s only given nine months to live by doctors, right as he turns 57 years old.
Instead of becoming a victim of a painful and agonizing road toward death, Short – and an opportunistic film crew – decide to explore the option of assisted euthanasia. The idea is to get a hold of an illegal drug known as Nembutal and help end Short’s life before the torturous and painful effects of cancer kick in.
The documentary isn’t just about Short acquiring the drug and wanting to end his suffering before it becomes unbearable. The documentary is actually about the legality of Nembutal in Australia, and the morally gray areas surrounding the reasons why Australia won’t so easily legalize assisted euthanasia.
Torrential Pictures explores Short’s quest to legalize Nembutal, with the film showing his degenerative state of being while politicians and religious zealots argue about the laws and the religious aspects of euthanasia.
One interesting tidbit about the film is that some of Australia’s leaders believe that legalizing a drug like Nembutal would lead to a complete societal breakdown, given that lots of people suffering depression, people having a bad day, or even – in one particular case involving a single 80-year-old woman – loneliness might lead people to popping Nembutal at the drop of a dime.
In a way, one must wonder if it should be within the rights of a civil society to have access to a drug that can quickly and painlessly end suffering and end a life at the snap of a finger? Or should it remain banned in order to prevent a mass of people from committing suicide?
With countries like Japan, South Korea, and the United States seeing an incline in straight, young males committing suicide at an alarming rate – as reported by 10 Magazine, Nikkei, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – one would have to question exactly how legalized euthanasia would affect developed nations? And would it make societies operate better or worse if people who didn’t want to live checked out early?
If you’re interested in Fade To Black, you can check it out on the Steam store to rent for $4.99 or to own for $19.99.