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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:
One of the Bravest Films I've Ever Seen! 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
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?

The pig pen at the monastery location quickly became the cast and crew "facilities" when it was realized just how much a climb up the hill it was to the porta facilities.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Midnight Movie (2008)See more »
The MotionSee more »


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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
One of the Bravest Films I've Ever Seen!, 27 September 2007
Author: Zen Bones from USA

I saw this last night and just can't stop thinking about it. This film is off-the-charts audacious in its blend of tragedy and dark humor, with cinematography that ranges from powerfully beautiful (the South African sequences reminded me of John Ford movies like "The Searchers"), to a seedy quality that subtly conveys the weirdness of its humor and unethical qualities of its characters. The film also never flinches from showing us such taboos as male nudity and the indignities of a terminally ill man. Like the movie "Babel," this movie contains three stories, two of which are set in far-off lands, all dealing with complex issues and tragic ignorance.

The first story is about how practically an entire village in China acquires AIDS due to poverty-driven greed. The film's edge is in how it turns the tables on us psychologically; the people are not what they seem, and greed is not always clear-cut when it is a basic means of survival. The second story is a strange tale of a mother who handles the death of her husband and 'acceptance' of the fact that her son has AIDS in a way that leaves the viewer extremely perplexed and uncomfortable, which is actually a good thing. This film doesn't flinch from showing us AIDS stories we don't want to believe, such as those people who purposefully acquire it. It mixes dark humor with beautiful metaphors, such as the mother driving her sports car into an enormous pile of red leaves, until she's practically buried in it. The final seconds of that story leave a chilling print embedded on one's brain; what is this woman thinking?? The third story juggles a whole range of issues regarding ignorance, religion, greed, selfishness and selflessness, and balances them all on a head of a pin. One false move and the story would have come off as preachy or exploitational. Again, there is an iconic scene that stays indelibly in my mind; the beautiful and horrific sight of a woman's dead body lying under a thin blanket of mud.

The entire film does has some rough edges, which may at first put some viewers off. I found Olympia Dukakis' narration a bit difficult to accept at the beginning of the movie (during a strange and fascinating African ritual of male circumcision), but it all comes together by the very end - in fact, quite powerfully. The film also jumps back and forth in past and present, which may at times seem confusing, but the ultimate effect makes us reread our initial assumptions. And the first film in particular is quite slow, although again, I think there was a point to its languorous pace. We all know that the disease in question in this film is AIDS, but the location used in China is so rural that one feels that the time period could be any time in the past fifty years. In fact the circumcision scene at the beginning of the film makes one unaware of even what century we are witnessing! That I think, is the director Thom Fitzgerald's genius. I read a review that criticized this movie for not mentioning the word AIDS, which actually I was unaware of. But the fact is; this movie could be about any disease, as even the Chinese initial reaction to SARS was one of denial. This film does certainly illustrate the stigma associated with AIDS, but the fallout is much deeper than sexual practices in developing countries. The reason it has spread, as this film so eloquently shows, is not because of people's sex lives; it's spread because of ignorance, poverty, superstition, fear and greed. If we can just focus on fighting those battles, then maybe … maybe we can win.

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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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