The documentary "Fire in the Blood" details how, from 1996 to 2003, Western pharmaceutical companies acted along with U.S. and European governments to, in effect, keep low-cost, generic antiretroviral drugs out of the reach of poor, HIV/AIDS-afflicted citizens of Africa and elsewhere (resulting in, the film asserts, more than 10 million premature deaths). Unfortunately, Dylan Mohan Gray's slow and steady exposé never quite manages the propulsive gut punch its incendiary subject demands.
Writer-producer-director Gray combines troublesome facts about the World Trade Organization and the pharmaceutical industry with stirring imagery of impoverished
In addition, the movie intriguingly recalls how, in 2003, then-President
Still, despite its raft of vital if not always surprising information, "Fire" can feel a bit one-sided and manipulative — and, frankly, somewhat dry — as it efficiently makes its case against the commercialization of medicine, drug patent monopolies and more. Actor William Hurt provides smooth narration.
"Fire in the Blood"
MPAA Rating: None
Running time: 1 hour, 27 minutes.
Playing: At Laemmle's Music Hall, Beverly Hills.