Documenting Healthcare Justice
MUMBAI, October 10, 2013 — Asia Society presented the India premiere of the highly acclaimed documentary Fire in the Blood, followed by an engaging interactive discussion between film Director Dylan Mohan Gray, India Business Editor of The Economist Patrick Foulis and members of a capacity audience. The film documents the fight to provide desperately needed low-cost HIV/AIDS medications to the global South. It has received widespread critical acclaim: winning the 2013 DOXA Feature Documentary Award and the 2013 Justice Matters Award at the Washington D.C. International Film Festival, and becoming the first Indian film ever to be selected for the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the Sundance Film Festival.
The gripping post-screening discussion covered the challenges and successes involved in the artistic process of creating the documentary and evolved into a wider analysis of the complexities and controversies of the global medicine market. Director Dylan Mohan Gray emphasised the important function of the film in preserving a globally significant story that was otherwise "going to be lost". Gray detailed the challenges of creating an appealing artistic project while maximising the film's historical value in telling the full story. He described sleepless nights spent formulating the film's storyline, particularly its portrayal of U.S. President Bill Clinton. The film was the first major documentary produced in India and Gray expressed hope and excitement that it will pioneer further growth in the Indian film industry.
The interactive discussion moved beyond the film itself to engage the larger debate on the global medicine market. Gray and Foulis provided lengthy expert insights into the economic structures and distribution systems that determine access to healthcare around the world. The discussion delved into the reality of the competing interests of large pharmaceutical corporations, governments and the human element of patients worldwide to generate a compelling perspective on a highly complicated issue.
To hear more of this discussion and learn more about Fire in the Blood and the political, economic and human dynamics pertaining to the provision of medicine around the world, watch the video highlights of our programme below.
Reported by Thomas Pierce, Intern, Asia Society India Centre.
Video: Watch the programme highlights (9 min., 12 sec.)