User Reviews

Add a Review
2 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
4/10
one sided documentary
misha-zigas19 December 2010
If you are watching this documentary for the first time and are interested in KURU, don't be misled by the authors of this. I have known both for most of my life and am appalled that was no mention of the First Doctor to find this and indeed, start research. This was discovered by Dr Vincent Zigas, who asked Australia for help and was ignored, then asked Carlton, from USA, to help or at least confirm his findings. All focus in this documentary, is on Alpers and Gajdusek, granted they did a tremendous job of isolating and identifying the cause, but neither gave credit to Zigas for discovering it. Dr V Zigas first came across this in 1953, as a Medical Officer Kiap, patrolling into the Okapa region and spent many years researching, first alone, then with Dr Gajdusek and later with Dr Alpers. His early findings, research and musings can be read in two books he published, "The Auscultation of Two Worlds" and "Laughing Death". Also field notes published by Gajdusek and Farquhar called "Kuru; Early letters and field notes" Though Dr Zigas has passed away, I feel, as his Son, that he not be forgotten, ignored and pushed aside for his work on KURU. RIP Dad, and Uncle Carlton.
7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
A brilliant and horrifying depiction of a hideous disease
Stephen Hitchings28 May 2013
I find it incredible that such a marvellous documentary should have such an absurdly low rating. Kuru: The Science and the Sorcery is at once a great piece of anthropological documentary, an exciting medical detective story, and a shocking and extremely moving piece of human tragedy. It is difficult to see how it could have been better made. It is also an important piece of medical speculation, given the relevance of the discoveries about kuru to the ongoing problems prompted by the British Government's shocking mismanagement of the "mad cow disease" epidemic and the very real risk that new victims of that sorry incident will continue to come to light.

The "review" by Mr Zigas is very scornful of the fact that his father's work was ignored by the film-makers. I can understand Mr Zigas feeling so hurt by their failure to even mention the doctor's work, but it is usual for documentary producers, working on a limited budget and limited run-time, to cut out anything not directly relevant to their main theme, which in this case was the work of Professor Alpers. It certainly does not imply that they were intending to slight Dr Zigas. It is a great pity that Mr Zigas himself says almost nothing about his father's work and how much he discovered, so the significance of his complaints is difficult to gauge. It is interesting to note that Professor Alpers gave considerable credit to Dr Zigas in his published article "The epidemiology of kuru", so it is most unlikely that he is to blame for the omission.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews