From the hyphotesis of British journalist Edward Hoope, the film reopens the explosively controversial subject of the origins of AIDS, zeroing in specifically on his fiercely contested proposition that the HIV virus was first transmitted to children in the Belgian Congo via contaminated polio vaccine. Written by
To my mind, an additionally disturbing aspect of this deeply enthralling 'theoretical' documentary was that I just caught it by chance at an obscure hour on one of the more obscure, pseudo fringe channels, namely Sundance. Why this documentary is not considered worthy of prime-time airing, allowing a far greater number of the population to see it and draw their own conclusions escapes me. But then again, maybe not.
In essence, was the HIV pandemic created by a fluke accident of tribal rituals or the 'cut hunter' theory, i.e. tribal hunters in central Africa (the Belgian Congo, now Zaire) becoming exposed to contaminated monkey blood containing SIV (Simian Imunodefficency Virus) through cuts or abrasions on themselves, or was this tragedy 'man made' through mass inoculations in Africa of Polio vaccine which had been cultured from monkey tissue contaminated with SIV which, when entering humans turns to HIV.
I could go on and on, but my simple advice would be, make this the next documentary you watch, I was hooked from beginning to end. One of its strengths is the way it puts across all the evidence supporting its key theories in a very matter-of-fact, understated way, hence avoiding slipping into the dangerous arena of 'sensationalist journalism'. It's enthralling, intelligent and, as one may imagine, deeply disturbing. It's a film, I believe, that should be seen by as many people as possible. So why haven't the more mainstream channels picked this up?. Maybe 'who's wearing what' on the Oscars red carpet is still deemed far more important.
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