Fire In The Blood (PG)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarNo StarNo Star
Review byJennifer Tate20/02/2013

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 84 mins

A detailed and factual documentary about Africa’s inability to access Western HIV drugs, Fire In The Blood is an enlightening film with plenty to say, though the voiceover is frustratingly monotonous and the score is quite flat.

What’s it all about?
Written, directed and produced by Dylan Mohan Grey, Fire In The Blood tells the untold true story of how Western governments and pharmaceutical companies prevented Africans and people in the global South from accessing affordable and lifesaving HIV drugs in the years after 1996. Shot on four continents, the documentary shows how an unlikely group of people (from HIV victims to human rights activists and global figures, such as Bill Clinton) took a stand against the impossibly high and unfair prices charged by profit-making corporations and saved millions of lives in the process.

The Good
In his directorial debut, Dylan Mohan Gray presents a well-paced and informative documentary, which presents the need-to-know facts about the situation in a direct and digestible manner. The many facts presented (such as the fact that 10 million or more died completely avoidable deaths because of Western drug companies and governments) are rather shocking and back up the argument made by his interview subjects, who each offer relevant and enlightening facts and information about the issue.

As well as this, Gray’s decision to speak candidly to a wide range of people who have been directly affected by the situation adds a harrowing touch to the film and some of the clips which show the HIV victims in certain situations are actually rather emotional (particularly, the touching scene showing an Aids victim hearing the news that he has been chosen as one of the people to receive the lifesaving ARV therapy). This is a serious documentary, which at times can be quite inspiring in its reminder of the potential power the human race has to fight back against inhumane and profit-driven organisations.

The Bad
Unfortunately, Fire In The Blood can often feel quite repetitive, thanks to the film’s tendency to revisit a lot of the same facts. That, along with the monotonous voiceover by director Dylan Mohan Gray, which feels very flat and lifeless, makes the film very intense and suffocating in the viewer’s seat at times. Finally, considering the intensity of the film’s nature, the soundtrack is quite drab and the film would probably have benefited more from a powerful score.

Worth seeing?
Despite its occasional repetitiveness, Fire In The Blood is an enlightening and occasionally absorbing documentary, with a captivating story and serious argument at its heart. Worth seeking out.

Film Trailer

Fire In The Blood (PG)
Be the first to review Fire In The Blood...
image
01 Love Me Till Monday (15)

Georgia Maguire, Sarah-Jayne Butler, Chris Leveaux...

image
02 Cycling with Moliere (tbc)

Fabrice Luchini, Lambert Wilson, Maya Sansa

image
03 The Nut Job (U)

Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson

image
04 The Equalizer (tbc)

Denzel Washington, Chloe Grace Moretz

image
05 If I Stay (12A)

Chloë Grace Moretz, Lauren Lee Smith, Mireille Eno...

Content updated: 23/07/2014 08:52

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

Love Me Till Monday (15)

Georgia Maguire stars as a young woman disillusioned with the new world of work and the lack of Mr Right in her life.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films

Hot Tickets

Film 4 Summer ScreenFilm 4 Summer Screen

Taking over the big screen at Somerset House again for August 2014, the Film 4 Summer Screen series brings a variety of classics and brand new films to audiences in the capital.