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3 Needles
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3 Needles (2005) More at IMDbPro »

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3 Needles -- This intense social drama from writer-director Thom Fitzgerald chronicles the spread of AIDS on three continents.
3 Needles -- Where Despair Prevails, Hope Lives.


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Release Date:
1 December 2006 (Singapore) See more »
Where Despair Prevails, Hope Lives. See more »
A three-paneled look at the worldwide AIDS crisis: in Montreal, a porn actor (Ashmore) schemes to pass his mandatory blood test; a young nun (Sevigny) makes a personal sacrifice for the benefit of a South African village; in rural China, a black market operative (Liu) posing as a goverment-sanctioned blood drawer jeopardizes an entire village's safety. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
2 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Visually Breathtaking, Emotionally Staggering Film of Great Importance See more (18 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Mabel Adams ... Nahmnru, the African Grandmother
Asckt ... Tea Picker

Shawn Ashmore ... Denys, the Porn Actor
Caroline Aspirot ... Stripper
Nontombi Bovana ... Grandchild
Rob Burns ... Broker

Stockard Channing ... Olive Cowie, the Porn Actor's Mother

Chin Han ... Soldier Xuan
Tanabadee Chokpikultong ... Tong Sam, the Rice Farmer
Yotaka Cheukaew ... Qi, the Rice Farmer's Daughter (as Yotaka Chorkreaw)
Eric Codana ... Abakeweta
Catherine Colvey ... Clara the Novice's Mother (scenes deleted)
Kathryn Costello ... Tourist

Steven Crowder ... Depanneur Manager
Douglas Cwaba ... Hermit
Isabelle Cyr ... Canadian Health Care Worker
Wentahawi Dionne-Elijah ... Native Porn Actress

Olympia Dukakis ... Hilde the Missionary Nun
Noloyiso Dusubana ... Newborn Baby

Gary Farmer ... Winker at Support Group
Thierry Fargeau ... Porn Cinematographer
Jessie Gabe ... Waitress at Diner

Simone-Élise Girard ... Waitress Who Serves the Porn Actor
Isabelle Guérard ... Goth Girl (scenes deleted)
Aliswa Guili ... Zhara the Eldest Granddaughter
Philisande Guili ... Grandchild
Noma-Oleji Guili ... Grandchild
Thantokazi Guili ... Klipikwela, Raped Grandchild
Roz Grewar ... Pool Table Slut (scenes deleted)
Mbutuma Gubo ... Traditional Surgeon

Tyson Hall ... Rapist
Alwyn van den Heever ... Isaac the Missionary
John Ho ... Tour Bus Guide
Bryan Hofbauer ... TJ the Missionary
Christine Jacobson ... Tourist
Karen Jacobson ... Tourist
Christine Jacobsen ... Tourist
Clinton Jolobe ... Rapist
Lewis Kollar ... Missionary
Roc LaFortune ... Porn Director
Veronique LaPointe ... Stripper
Pierre Leblanc ... Eggs Benny Guy

Sook-Yin Lee ... Tong Xiu, the Rice Farmer's Wife
Kaew Lipiwongwattanakiu ... Doctor
Cecilia Che Liu ... Hospital Receptionist (as Cecilia Cho Liu)

Lucy Liu ... Jin Ping, the Blood Smuggler
S.S. Liwdani ... Policing
Doug Maclean ... Erotic Boom Operator (as Doug MacLean)
Linda Madaza ... Policing
Curtis Maninjwa ... Hallyday's Driver
Pearl Matott ... Matron
Lawrence Maxongo ... Angry Father
Nkuleko Mauimbeni ... Abakeweta
Tembaukosi Mbadu ... Sivuyile, Who Is Baptised in the River
Anele Mbangata ... Abakeweta
Siv Mbelu ... Bongile
Gregoriane Minot Payeur ... Spunky Chin (as Grégoriane Minot)
William Mtakati ... Father Dahmnu
Kolekile Ngilana ... Abakeweta
Lolly Ngxola ... Huku's Bride
Velephi Njiva ... Patient
Nomgavoa Nomachule ... Hallyday's Domestic
Nancy Nomankantsu ... Mounhera, the Pregnant African Woman
Dotor Ntlangenisela ... Iggirha

Sandra Oh ... Mary the Nun
Aubert Pallascio ... Herold, the Porn Actor's Father
Suwimon Petcharayutporn ... National Representative (as Suwimon Petcharayayutporn)
Koson Peungsiri ... Houng, the Rice Farmer's Neighbour
Gog Prisatien ... Man Who Sells Bike
Judith A. Richard ... Stripper (as Judith Richard)
Ian Roberts ... Hallyday, the Plantation Owner
Richard Robitaille ... Insurer
Witchai Saeli ... Guard
Supanat Sasipongpana ... Harry, the Blood Smuggler's Son

Chloë Sevigny ... Clara the Novice
Orlando Sebeni ... Undilewe, the Grandson
Anele Solwandle ... Huku
Linda Smith ... Lonely Housewife
Ian Sternthal ... Bug Chaser
Suthep Tangtaweesukho ... Herbalist
Chaiyaporn Torphorn ... The I.V. Man (as Chaiyaporn Torpon)

Marc Trottier ... Firefighter
Madodandile Tsheleni ... Abakeweta
Akarin Tungboriboonkit ... Provincial Representative
Aroon Wanatsabadeewong ... Zao Hao, the Blood Collector
Glen Dudley Watt ... Missionary
Peerawat Yanoo ... Lab Tech
Micheline Beaulieu
Gilles Bernard
Jocelyne Bienvenue
Chantal Boivin
Marcel Bréard
Jean Campos
Francis Ciara
Maxine Croteau
Phillippe Darren
Serge Dauphin
Mary Dbl
Andrew Dent
Normand Depelteau
David Johnston
Karl Lebak
Karleen Lebak
Pierre Masson
Katia Minarikova
Tommy Pépin
Dave Picard
Dominique Rankin
Daniel Riccio
Francine Trudel
Sébastien Valade
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Cory Bowles ... Amos (uncredited)

Directed by
Thom Fitzgerald 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Thom Fitzgerald 

Produced by
Mark Bennett .... associate producer
Thom Fitzgerald .... producer
Robert A. Flutie .... consulting producer
Michael Gleissner .... executive producer
Bryan Hofbauer .... producer
Brad Horvath .... associate producer
Vicki McCarty .... consulting producer
Original Music by
Christophe Beck 
Trevor Morris 
Cinematography by
Tom Harting 
Film Editing by
Susan Shanks 
Casting by
Mark Bennett 
Production Design by
Lek Chaiyan Chunsuttiwat 
Art Direction by
Janni Van Staden 
Set Decoration by
Lek Chaiyan Chunsuttiwat 
Costume Design by
James A. Worthen 
Makeup Department
Maria Hofmeyr .... makeup artist (as Maria Hofmeyer)
Production Management
Marc Almon .... production supervisor
Pierre Laberge .... production manager
Matthew Lubetich .... executive in charge of production
Laurette Marais .... unit production manager
Mutita Na Songkla .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Marielou Bélisle-Pierre .... second assistant director
Sompot Chidgasornpongse .... second assistant director
Amanda Law .... second assistant director
Jason Shipley .... first assistant director
Alwyn van den Heever .... assistant director
Art Department
Laura MacNutt .... set decorator: Halifax
Andy Miller .... property master
Victor R. Sypersek .... art director: Halifax
Sound Department
Scott Donald .... adr editor
Philippe Espantoso .... sound re-recording mixer
David Gertsman .... sound effects editor
Steven Gurman .... sound
David Ho .... adr mixer
Akritchalerm Kalayanamitr .... production sound (as Akrit Chaya-ngam)
Francois Maurice .... dialogue editor
Francois Maurice .... sound editor
Max Tersch .... sound utility
Sirapob Tungkasaeranee .... boom operator
Narathip Tungkaseranee .... boom operator
Frank Verderosa .... adr recordist
Frank Verderosa .... sound recording engineer
Visual Effects by
Stevie Ramone .... digital compositor
Robin Trickett .... visual effects coordinator
Mark Tureski .... film scanning and recording
Camera and Electrical Department
Thierry Fargeau .... assistant camera
Jason Ball .... electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Raweeporn 'Non' Srimonju .... casting: Thailand
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Maria Hofmeyr .... wardrobe (as Maria Hofmeyer)
Victoria Rockwell .... assistant costume designer
Editorial Department
Rob Tough .... assistant editor
Music Department
Scott Brion .... music supervisor
Todd Haberman .... composer: additional music
Nathan Wiley .... soundtrack
Other crew
Tongsuk Apiruksub .... production accoutant: Thai
Mélanie Côté .... location manager
Tarryn Greybè .... pre-production coordinator
Jim Hoffman .... production executive
James Milligan .... production accountant
David Roberson .... publicist
Scottpatrick J. Sellitto .... international director marketing and publicity
Sudkamol Tangtham .... location manager: Thailand
Apiradee 'Joy' Thongprachan .... location assistant
Harley Bauer .... special thanks
Chris Roland .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:127 min | Canada:123 min (Toronto International Film Festival) | Canada:125 min (DVD) | Argentina:127 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Thom Fitzgerald and Bryan Hofbauer made the local newspaper one day when they where washed out to sea by an undercurrent.See more »
Movie Connections:
References The Passion of the Christ (2004)See more »
The MotionSee more »


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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
A Visually Breathtaking, Emotionally Staggering Film of Great Importance, 28 December 2006
Author: gradyharp from United States

3 NEEDLES as written and directed by Thom Fitzgerald (The Hanging Garden, The Wild Dogs, Blood Moon, Beefcake) is a powerful statement about the insidious spread of AIDS throughout the world, taking us to places we the viewers would rarely visit from the news media emphasis on the disease. The film is three stories in three countries told in tandem not unlike the technique so successfully used in BABEL, CRASH, and TRAFFIC. Employing cinematography of enormous talent and a cast of terrific actors, Fitzgerald manages to share his stories with such sensitivity that every viewer will feel involved in the tragedy that is rotting away our globe.

The film opens with a ceremony in Africa (supposedly South Africa) where young boys undergo ritualistic circumcision, learn the fighting tricks of manhood, and move into society as Men. This single portion of the film is intensely beautiful in its non-voyeuristic observation of an ages old ritual, so beautiful to watch that it calls for Pause/Replay! From Africa we go to rural China where Jin Ping (Lucy Liu, speaking Mandarin only) is the very pregnant force who runs an underground blood bank which while serving the donors with some cash also contaminates the population with HIV virus (we discover that Jin Ling is HIV positive, carrying a baby at risk, and supporting her HIV husband). The trials she encounters in her shady business are nothing to the moment of personal anguish when she delivers her baby without assistance in a cornfield.

Moving to Canada we meet Denys (Shawn Ashmore), a porn star who is HIV positive but steals blood from his ill father for his frequent 'tests' required by the porn director to hide his positive status in order to continue making porn movies to support his family. His mother Olive (Stockard Channing) discovers his status, hears about AIDS patients' ability to cash in on life insurance early, and infects herself so that she can take advantage of the early insurance cash to provide a life of comfort in the small time they both now have for herself and her now fatherless son.

And we return to South Africa where three nuns - Sister Clara (Chloë Sevigny), Sister Hilde Francis (Olympia Dukakis) and Sister Mary John (Sandra Oh) - set up a clinic to treat the villagers, finding only that acts of tremendous self-sacrifice can stave off the spread of the gore of AIDS. The Men we have watched in the beginning of the film walk into the life that faces a world crippled by HIV and the contrast is powerful.

3 NEEDLES' cinematographer Tom Harting deserves awards for the sheer magnificence of his images he captures on film, not only the majestic vistas of Africa and China but also the intimate moments such as Jin Ping's birthing. The musical score by Christophe Beck and Trevor Morris manages to find the atmosphere of each of the three stations of the cross Fitzgerald examines. The acting cast, both the gifted well-known actors as well as the smaller roles by unknowns in each location, is magnificent. If the film has a flaw it is in the unfortunate arena of avoiding preaching: watching and hearing the events is so very powerful that words of summation feel superficial and even insulting. But that is a small flaw in a film of wonder. Highly recommended. Grady Harp

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Circumcision? Falkner09
Questions about Lucy Lu story...(spoilers) dmc83
Question about Nuns, towards the end *spoilers* kodaohkoda
It deserves a belated Oscar naq-1
stockard channing infection? SPOILER chagall10
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