Cambridge Film Festival Daily Newspaper, Louise Jenkins

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House of Numbers reviews

Review by Festival Daily on 23 Sep 2009

HOUSE OF NUMBERS is a film that creates considerable controversy in the science world. It looks at the confusion of what HIV/AIDS really are and the problems with diagnosis and treatment using real case examples to add an emotional factor. Director Brent Leung interviews some of the major doctors involved in medical research of HIV in an attempt to answer some of the huge questions surrounding the field.

Most worryingly, the film suggests money and politics come into play with finding out about the disease a bit too much. Martin Delaney, the late founding director of Project Inform, said that pharmaceutical companies were not interested in the cure because the treatments had higher revenue. The more cases of AIDS there are, the more money the research and treatment companies get. Then Leung discusses the whole issue of testing, which is shown to be unreliable, and treatment which seemingly is very dangerous. The film ends with a revelation from the discoverer of AIDS Luc Montagnier, “with a good immune system you can get rid of the HIV virus in weeks”.

What we can conclude from the film is that none of the questions asked have been truly answered. The public still don’t know the truth but perhaps neither do the researchers. This film doesn’t solve any questions but instead seems to ask more, which just opens the debate on if this ‘epidemic’ is really being dealt with correctly. Currently it doesn’t seem like that at all.


EDITOR'S NOTE: This review was written for the Cambridge Film Festival daily newspaper. It approaches HOUSE OF NUMBERS from a neutral position and attempts to discuss the film on its own terms.