N° 1 sprog has, commendably, been studying moral philosophy at school. Recently there have been some dinner table discussions of the -if-the-justification-for-eating-animals-is-that-they-are-not-considered-sentient-then-why-can’t-we-eat-non-sentient-human-beings-since-we-are-also-animals? variety, with a strong dose of utilitarianism sprinkled over everything. ‘You should watch Soylent Green,’ I said. So, thanks to Amazon, I managed to dig out a second-hand DVD of a film I remembered from when it first came out in 1973 (directed by Richard Fleischman and based on Harry Harrison’s 1966 novel, Make Room! Make Room!). Does it stand the test of time? Curiously, yes. The apocalyptic future world portrayed in the film is misogynistic, Malthusian, Hobbesian but is a still-functioning dystopia in which corrupt political and economic classes merge seamlessly. The world is overheating (there is what must be one of the earlier references to climate change) and the human population has sky-rocketed. The privileged few live in air-conditioned flats with compliant hostesses (‘furniture’) and tapped water. The rest bake and starve and, when they can’t lay their hands on the latest wonder foodstuff, soylent green (supposedly made from plankton), and riot, they are shovelled away by bulldozers. The state offers voluntary euthanasia, preceded by twenty minutes of drugged ecstasy, for those who can’t stand it anymore. Enter chiselled man-mountain Charlton Heston as the lone detective with a complicit establishment against him, out to discover the awful truth that soylent green is made of… In his last film performance Edward G. Robinson plays Heston’s ageing and learned friend, Sol Roth. Sol opts for euthanasia and the scene famously sports real Heston tears, for Robinson had told his friend Heston, but only Heston, that he was mortally ill with cancer. Robinson died twelve days after filming was completed.