Filmmaker, Brent Leung responds to Huffpo Blogger, Thomas DeLorenzo criticisms of his film, House of Numbers, when he says, "As director/producer of the film criticized in Thomas DeLorenzo's piece titled, "Since when Is the Expression of Fear and Ignorance a Basic American Right?", I'd like to take the opportunity to clarify a number of the piece's misguided points. DeLorenzo has written a dangerously misinformed piece on my film, House of Numbers, and has done so with no regard for the facts. He is expressing his opinions on a film he has never seen and refuses to see (an admission he made via phone with our Associate Producer on
August 25). How interesting that he deems it acceptable to bash content with which he is
not familiar, outside of personal spats with a former partner who may or may not have
been accurately defending his cause.
To juxtapose his comments with a critic for the LA Times who viewed the movie, "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..." He goes on to write, "There's no denying, however, the value of exploring such game-changing topics as how HIV-infection numbers are cooked for
monetary and political gain; how the effects of global poverty may have led to so many AIDS-related deaths; how such widely used AIDS drugs as AZT have, themselves, often proved fatal; and whether HIV really exists."
Since Mr. DeLorenzo never requested an interview with me or did his due diligence I would like to clear the air on a few things and state some hard facts.
1. I am not a denialist. Posing questions is very different than denying something. Using that word and comparing it to holocaust denialists is nonsense -- pure ad hominem which serves to only polarize a reasonable debate. As presented in the film, I traveled the globe speaking with scientists, activists, clinicians, journalists and patients asking questions. My main goal? To educate myself and others, and to generate discussion on important questions that have not yet been answered. After completing my journey, I now have even more unanswered questions than I did when I started.
2. The film does not state HIV does not cause AIDS, as is claimed by DeLorenzo. It rather investigates whether the virus exists, as some claim, and if it leads to immune deficiency disease. These topics alone are not the focus, as the film also investigates HIV testing, accuracy of global WHO/UNAIDS statistics, the human element, past and current drug treatments and the search for a cure. The film also explores what exactly the word AIDS means and how it impacts us.
3. Mr. DeLorenzo writes, "Many prominent scientists were interviewed for this movie -- and quoted severely out of context." I would ask Mr. DeLorenzo to please state specifically for the record what was "severely taken out of context" -- especially since he has yet to view the film. A blogger published in a credible news outlet such as the Huffington Post should have a detailed list of examples when making accusations like this. I would also welcome any scientists (especially John P. Moore who continues to assert claims against me) in the film
who makes such grievances to submit what specifically they believe to be out of context and why.
Jeff Rivera is an entertainment reporter who blogs about Young Hollywood. He is also the author of the novel, Forever My Lady(Grand Central Publishing). For more celebrity interviews, visit: www.JeffRivera.com