The science of Panic (English)





Rating is available when the video has been rented.
This feature is not available right now. Please try again later.
Published on May 25, 2011

Film Review: La Ciencia del Pánico

David Crowe
July, 2011
La Ciencia del Pánico is perhaps the first major film rethinking the HIV=AIDS dogma to emerge from the Spanish-speaking world although, for the benefit of us anglophones, it can be watched with English subtitles. Due to the large number of languages that interviews were conducted in (French, German and Italian apart from English and Spanish), both languages sometimes need subtitles. Further increasing its accessibility the entire video is available online, for free, at http://www.lacienciadelpanico.tk. Obviously this film was a passion of its makers, not a money-making venture (note to all dissenting film-makers -- go to Hollywood if you want to make money).

The video has its own story as it was made by film maker Patrizia Monzani as well as the HIV-positive victim of AIDS drugs, Isabel Otaduy. Like so many who took antiretrovirals for years, Isabel died young, in 2009, never able to see the final product of her passion to tell the world the truth and to try to stop others from walking the same path as her.

AIDS in Europe is more a disease of intravenous drug users and people outside of the standard "risk groups" who get scooped up by the randomness of the ELISA test, than of gay men as in the United States, or the malnourished as in Africa, and this is reflected in the film. Apart from the seropositive people the film blends in the opinions of doctors, scientists and researchers on both sides of the argument. Refreshingly, many of the interviews are of less well-known experts as English films tend to focus on interviewing only English-speaking people.

The stories of the people wearing the scarlet letters HIV sometimes describe a history of drug use or the party lifestyle and sometimes not. In both cases, each nugget of a personal story quickly segues into a discussion of HIV testing, the toxicity of AIDS drugs or the very existence of the boogeyman HIV. The stories of loss, of their own health or of friends, are sad and moving and contrast in a chilling way with the casualness with which a mainstream doctor admits to the side effects or inaccuracies of the tests, as if this information was insignificant. It is hard to understand how such a well-educated person can be so wedded to medicine-by-numbers that the fact that a protease inhibitor user with serious lipodystrophy no longer recognizes themself in the mirror does not cause him to pause and think about his current course, despite the obvious icebergs ahead. But then, they are not actually sailing the boat, they are just giving directions by remote control -- Take this drug, stop that drug, ignore the side effects, think of how we are saving your life. The establishment side was mainly represented by one doctor but having a hundred would not have changed the film as they all would have said the same thing, like robots.

The technique of moving from personal anecdote to the mainstream explanation to a more convincing explanation from an AIDS critic will help the people who are new to this subject understand both the personal and scientific impact of the dogma. The most important message is how much damage an out of control medical theory imposed on the world can wreak sadly without the majority of its inhabitants having the slightest clue anything is, the propaganda is that good. But, like other excellent dissident films such as House of Numbers or The Other Side of AIDS, the propaganda will not survive this film

It is interesting to compare La Ciencia with another film that I recently reviewed, This Child of Mine. Both are similar in that they address the personal side of AIDS, how the theory turns the lives of people upside down, both physically and emotionally. While This Child of Mine focuses only on families dealing with the children of an HIV-positive mother, La Ciencia interviews a much broader spectrum of people caught by the HIV lie. The styles of the films are also completely different, This Child of Mine is like acoustic folk music, the film maker sitting back quietly and observing, leaving the viewer feeling as if they are on the couch as the events unfold. La Ciencia is much more electronic and edgy, weaving a story from the fragments of recollections and opinions of the people the filmmakers interviewed. Both express the pain of people who lost friends and loved ones to AZT or other AIDS drugs, not always understanding until later what was happening. While This Child of Mine was restricted to the United States, the makers of La Ciencia made or obtained interviews from all over the world. Both films are different, but both work, one is a folk club, the other a night club. Watch them both. Expand your horizons.



When autoplay is enabled, a suggested video will automatically play next.

Up next

to add this to Watch Later

Add to

Loading playlists...