Raindance Film Festival


In a film that has already been branded as controversial, defamatory, denialist and propagandist, The House Of Numbers has already attracted huge pressure to be dropped from the festival. The furore the documentary (largely unseen) has provoked, seems to focus around allegations the film denies the existence of HIV.

Brent Leung’s investigation into the history of AIDS/HIV is a thought-provoking documentary, raising a wealth of questions regarding the assessment and treatment of the virus and the immense discrepancies in the categorisation of the disease. Touring the world interviewing figures in the field, Brent makes a number of disturbing statements. He identifies the historic ‘causes’ of the disease, initially known as GRID (Gay –Related Imune Deficiency). Examining the causes for ‘denialist’ movements, he pins out the inconsistencies in the initial researches, and the fatality of the primary medications to the disease, though often fudging this with contributors’ bold and alarming comments, including staff from the University College London.

Most interestingly, Brent Leung’s attempt at exploring the theories behind claims HIV do not cause Aids, show an underlying issue in so far as the scientific world remain divided over the virus and is a fascinating insight into the denialist movement.

Including statements from questionable contributors (such as ‘denialist’ activist Celia Farber, whose previous works have been barred from the BBC), the film nonetheless succeeds in raising a number of challenging and disturbing thoughts.