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House of Numbers: Anatomy of an Epidemic (2009)

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary  |  19 April 2009 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 469 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 9 critic

What is HIV? What is AIDS? What is being done to cure it? These questions sent Canadian filmmaker Brent Leung on a worldwide journey, from the highest echelons of the medical research ... See full summary »

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Title: House of Numbers: Anatomy of an Epidemic (2009)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Luc Montagnier ...
Himself - Discoverer of HIV
Francois Barre-Sinnousi ...
Herself - Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine
Anthony Fauci ...
Himself - Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
...
Himself - Chairman of the Board, amfAR
James Curran ...
Himself - Former Director, CDC AIDS Division
David Baltimore ...
Himself - Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine
Donald P. Francis ...
Himself - Epidemiologist, CDC
Michael Gottlieb ...
Himself - First Doctor to Diagnose AIDS, UCLA Medical Center
Harold Jaffe ...
Himself - Former Director, CDC AIDS Division
Daniel Kuritzkes ...
Himself - Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Reinhard Kurth ...
Himself - President, Robert Koch Institute Germany
Joseph B. McCormick ...
Himself - Epidemiologist, CDC
John P. Moore ...
Himself - Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Weill Cornell Medical College
Peter Piot ...
Himself - Executive Director, UNAIDS
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Donald Abrams ...
Himself - Chief of Hematology-Oncology, San Francisco General Hospital
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Storyline

What is HIV? What is AIDS? What is being done to cure it? These questions sent Canadian filmmaker Brent Leung on a worldwide journey, from the highest echelons of the medical research establishment to the slums of South Africa, where death and disease are the order of the day. In this up-to-the-minute documentary, he observes that although AIDS has been front-page news for over 28 years, it is barely understood. Despite the great effort, time, and money spent, no cure is in sight. Born in 1980 (on the cusp of the epidemic), Leung reveals a research establishment in disarray, and health policy gone tragically off course. Gaining access to a remarkable array of the most prominent and influential figures in the field -- among them the co-discoverers of HIV, presidential advisors, Nobel laureates, and the Executive Director of UNAIDS, as well as survivors and activists -- his restrained approach yields surprising revelations and stunning contradictions. The HIV/AIDS story is being ... Written by Knowledge Matters, LLC

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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A world without HIV/AIDS may be closer than you think.

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Documentary

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Not Rated
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Release Date:

19 April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Kartenhaus der Aids-Verschwörung  »

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1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

A photo meeting between Ronald Reagan and Jacques Chirac wrongly informs that Chirac was the French President during a White House conference about AIDS in 1987. Chirac was France's Prime Minister at the time, sent by President François Mitterand. See more »

Quotes

Herself - Investigative Journalist: AIDS is the best example of what's really scary, alarming and dangerous about our culture right now, which is that it's a culture of PR. It's a Public Relations phenomenon. The truth doesn't matter, what matters is the image.
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User Reviews

 
Riveting documentary film on a subject bearing the weight of over 20 years of censorship by an unreasonable scientific orthodoxy.
6 January 2010 | by (U.S.) – See all my reviews

As someone who has followed the scientific debates regarding the cause of AIDS since the early 1990's, I have reported on many of the controversies and inconsistencies with the existing causation hypotheses. Yes, that is right, there are multiple perspectives as to what causes the syndrome labeled as AIDS, even from within the well funded scientific orthodoxy. This, the film reveals.

Young filmmaker Brent Leung has done a remarkable job of allowing the scientists on all sides of this debate to describe their viewpoints in their own words so that the viewer can decide for himself the credibility or lack thereof of the information presented. How refreshing it is for a documentary film to treat its audience as if it is intelligent and capable of drawing reasonable conclusions, rather than being preached at as if we are all little children.

The calls for censorship of this film are outrageous. Beware those with conflicts of interest who appear offended for the mere suggestion that "they should wash their hands after cutting on cadavers before going into the next room to deliver babies." Have we learned nothing since the time of Ignaz Semmelweis, much less Galileo?

House of Numbers is an important film at a time where we are rapidly running out of resources to chase a disease that may not actually be a disease at all. Yes, billions of dollars of potentially misallocated research funds are at stake, but so are the lives of potentially millions of immunocompromised inhabitants of planet earth.

If it is possible that conflicts of interest have covered up and prevented other avenues of research into immune dysfunction be explored, wouldn't you want to know it?

In my opinion, a good documentary film reveals many facets of its subject matter in ways that elevate interest throughout. A great documentary film allows its audience to draw its own conclusions. I sat riveted by House of Numbers. Three times. Dare I be so bold to posit that this may be the film to ignite a renaissance of scientific freedom and inquiry devoid of politics and economics? I dare.


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