8.5/10
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3 user 2 critic

Factor 8: The Arkansas Prison Blood Scandal (2005)

A shocking expose of a prison blood donor program during the Clinton governorship in Arkansas. Infected prisoners slipped through the cracks and tainted blood made it into pharmaceuticals ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Edwin Barron Jr.
John Byus
Kelly Duda ...
Himself
Hezile Earl
Francis 'Bud' Henderson
Rolf Kaestel
Mark Kennedy
James Kreppner ...
Himself
Jim Lovel
Randal Morgan
John Schock ...
Himself
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Storyline

A shocking expose of a prison blood donor program during the Clinton governorship in Arkansas. Infected prisoners slipped through the cracks and tainted blood made it into pharmaceuticals sold to patients in Canada, Europe and Asia, infecting them with the deadly diseases hepatitis C and AIDS. Written by Duda, Kelly

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What the billion-dollar drug companies, the federal government and the State of Arkansas don't want you to see ... Because people are still dying.


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8 November 2005 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Actor/director Mel Gibson once asked Kelly Duda how he avoided getting killed making Factor 8. See more »

Quotes

Earl, Hezile: It's all about the money.
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User Reviews

 
A powerful, shocking insight; exactly what documentaries should do
29 September 2006 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

I had a chance to see this picture at the raindance film festival, and it was a powerful experience. The documentary never lends itself to over sentimentality or polarised personal diabtribes, it simply works factually, logically and aggressively to uncover truth, and in doing so makes some truly shocking discoveries about a scandal that still deeply effects the lives of many people today. It can be a little dry at times, but if anything that lends to its credibility, its the kind of film a lot of people should be watching, and hopefully Kelly Duda will get the audience his film deserves.

It centres around the history of blood transfusions from a prison in Arkansas, where inmates were allowed to give blood in a profit business organisation, seemingly irrespective if they were infected with Hep B, Hep C or HIV. Unbelievably, this blood was then sold to labs in canada and europe to be used in blood transfusions, and as a result many haemophiliacs caught these fatals diseases. Duda makes it quite clear that knowledge of the contamination was apparent and yet no heads rolled. The violent history of the prison is also laid bare, which was the most shocking part of the documentary, as it seems the precedent of blood taking was begun with a series of scientific experiments performed at the inmates expense, even death, in the early sixties. This was harrowing to say the least.

The documentary then reveals that when the scandal broke in Canada, the blood prison system was shut down, only to be reopened under Bill Clinton's governorship. This is the really world scale impact of the documentary, it seems Clinton appointed friends to oversee the prison blood business, as the levels of money involved seemed to precipitate his aiding of the business remaining in existence, despite the previous contaminations. It's powerful, far reaching and unsettling, and the personal stories and personalities dotted around the picture, really give it a human feeling


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