FIRE IN THE BLOOD
Directed by Dylan Mohan Gray
Official Selection, 2013 Sundance Film Festival
Best Feature Documentary, 2013 DOXA Documentary Film Festival
The HIV/AIDS epidemic had once seemed determined to kill off millions of people around the globe with no plausible end in sight. Since the mid-90s, however, antiretroviral medications (ARVs) have offered reprieve from these former death sentences – but only to those with deep pockets living in Western industrialized nations. Unaffordable to many in resource-poor countries, these drugs could not save the 10 million more who continue to die painful deaths.
Inspired by Alex Gibney’s Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and Taxi to the Dark Side, Punjabi-Irish filmmaker David Mohan Gray wrote and directed his first feature FIRE IN THE BLOOD, which, with the pulse of a suspense thriller, exposes the greed of pharmaceutical companies keen on keeping these vital medications from the hands of millions living with HIV/AIDS – all in the name of patent law. Through intensive lobbying and threats of legal action, they have effectively blocked access to low-cost generic drugs manufactured in India and elsewhere.
The documentary, shot on four continents, brings together AIDS activists like Desmond Tutu, Dr. Peter Mugyenyi, Zackie Achmat, Bill Clinton, and the rest of the coalition which came together to overcome the blockade, and to fight what the filmmakers call “the Crime of the Century.” –Wilda Wong