8.1/10
28
2 user 1 critic

Dear Francis (2005)

The UN has declared the small African kingdom of Swaziland to be the world's most HIV-infected nation with nearly 40% of its adult population carrying the virus. Experts say that within 50 ... See full summary »
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Storyline

The UN has declared the small African kingdom of Swaziland to be the world's most HIV-infected nation with nearly 40% of its adult population carrying the virus. Experts say that within 50 years the Swazi people may become extinct unless profound change is realized. Shortly after the official declaration, Lance and Kelly, two Texas college students with high ideals, great hopes, and a bit of naiveté embark on a most unconventional AIDS prevention program to Swaziland. Dear Francis puts a face to the AIDS pandemic as it chronicles the personal stories of two strangers and the Swazis they befriend. Through these relationships, they discover that the causes of this plague are much more disturbing and complex than they could have ever imagined. Interspersed in the story are interviews of local and international officials working the front lines of the pandemic. Their insights and commentaries are some of the most enlightening and heart-wrenching interviews on the AIDS crisis to ever see ... Written by Chronicle Project

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

swaziland | hiv aids | africa | See All (3) »

Taglines:

The World's Most HIV-Infected Nation Faces Extinction. Is There Any Hope?

Genres:

Documentary

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4 October 2005 (USA)  »

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$65,000 (estimated)
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User Reviews

 
Christians preach distorted public health doctrine but get great interviews and frightening data.
23 August 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is good and informative, but not to the level of votes it has received. The protagonists accomplished some good by focusing their AIDS/HIV education efforts on a high school in Swaziland. But they should be slapped for advancing an abstinence program when there's so much data indicating they don't work. Surprise, it turns out they are some stripe of missionary Christians (ballot stuffing by whom likely accounts for the very high scores this film has received on IMDb). In fact, many of the health officials interviewed describe numerous social and economic reasons why preaching abstinence would be useless here, but the producers/missionaries never seem to clue into that.

Dear Francis also subjects us to some fervent prayers that mostly reveal their misunderstanding of the situation. Aside from these serious and annoying drawbacks, the film is pretty good. Hairy scary factoid: of 35 people tested daily at the local health clinic, about 30 are HIV positive.


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