Friday, August 21, 2009

House of Numbers Comes to LA

As the documentary House of Numbers continues to pound shell-shocked pharma-sluts at film festivals throughout the US, LA residents are finally getting a chance to hear questions that the pharmaceutical industry never wanted you to ask.

When Brent Leung’s film opened this week at the Westwood Crest Theatre, LA Times film critic Gary Goldstein was there. In a surprising act of courage, Goldstein’s editors have actually dared to publish his critique:

… (House of Numbers) plays as if the producer-director decided -- and rightly so-- that it was time for a "state of HIV/AIDS" update, hopped the globe to interview researchers, physicians, journalists and other experts (as well as several of the disease's victims), and then figured out what his film would really be about.

No matter, Leung manages to present a barrage of intriguing theories debunking our generally accepted beliefs and misperceptions about how HIV/AIDS is acquired, tested, diagnosed, defined and treated. It's a vital yet thorny approach whose inconclusiveness is bound to sadden or infuriate anyone who's lost a loved one to AIDS…
Unlike the pharmaceutically-funded sluts who’ve sold their diplomas to market the HIV poltergeist (that can only be seen and explained by researchers who receive large amounts of pharmaceutical funding), Leung’s film allows the world’s biggest recipients of drug money to describe, in their own words, the chaotic misinformation and fraud that has characterized HIV/AIDS fundraising, research and treatment since 1981. As explosive as Leung’s questions are, the real indictment comes from the pharma-sluts themselves – who should have secured lawyers and their right against self-incrimination before responding.

If House of Numbers is hard to figure out, it is because the filmmaker has allowed the world’s top AIDS researchers explain, in their own words, the science behind what they call “scientific consensus,” leaving the audience with more questions about HIV and AIDS than they had before the movie began. For Americans who have spent nearly a trillion dollars to cure an alleged pandemic that most Americans and the American Medical Association hardly notice, the pharma-sluts only raise more questions.

Since it is now apparent that HIV keeps more than 1600 international mining companies in operation throughout the African Continent, the UN member nations that pay off Africa’s notoriously corrupt leaders, sack the continent’s mineral wealth and kill off their impoverished miners have good reason to fear those (like Leung, skeptical scientists, investigators and the Nobel laureates he interviews) who aren’t as corruptible as these outraged pharma-sluts.

Now that Eli Lilly executive John Virapen PhD has described how he made a career out of identifying, targeting and compromising researchers and scientists, the payoffs and threat of fines and imprisonment explain why detractors continue to attack and threaten Leung and his film.

House of Numbers was not made to saddened or infuriate, but to present questions that the media, NIH, CDC and pharmaceutical industry never wanted to be asked. The fact that they buried these questions like Jimmy Hoffa and hired a Barney Fife security guard to investigate raises many questions. For those who claim that the “consensus of the scientific community” has proven that HIV is the cause of AIDS, their schizophrenic explanations only raise more embarrassing questions.

But don’t take my word for it. The movie plays at the Westwood Crest Theatre through August 27th. (Matthew Bzrebski weighs in)

"House of Numbers." MPAA rating: Unrated. Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes.