I haven’t found myself left open-mouthed by cinema much recently. I also haven’t found myslef angered much by cinema lately either. Fire In The Blood however achieved both.
Fire In The Blood tells the story of how Western pharmaceutical companies and governments aggressively blocked access to low-cost AIDS drugs for the countries of Africa and the global south in the years after 1996 – causing ten million or more unnecessary deaths – and the improbable group of people who decided to fight back.
The director Dylan Mohan Gray was led to tell this staggeringly true story and recent interviews has said that this story needed to be told in reaction to “shock and disgust that so many millions of lives could be so callously and I would say brutally set aside, with very little attention paid to the fact and no one called to account”.
This documentary is shocking, compelling and heart wrenching as you watch the lives of millions in the hands of not only governments but also the drug companies and their profit first attitudes.
On coming out of the screening conversations started to begin around how fortunate we are in comparison.
Growing up in Belfast has often struck me as a privilege . I have never wanted for anything. My health has always (to date) been decent. If I did need health care it is available via the NHS at no cost to me.
We complain at our money disappearing via direct debits to cover our monthly living costs but I should stop and remember that I am blessed a) I HAVE A JOB (despite my grumblings about how I want a better one) & b) I AM WELL PAID.
I shouldn’t complain about paying out so much each month when after essentials are covered I use parts of my monthly income to entertain myself. For example my satellite tv subscription and my reluctance to give up the extortionate sports package costs added through choice and desire to keep them to watch my team play football.
This Easter weekend again I look to the Cross and think of the sacrifice made for me.
Fire in the Blood challenged me and made me contemplate how this ultimate sacrifice is being reflected in my own life. How do I use the privilege I have afforded to me? What am I sacrificing to help those in need?
The first step (regardless of how insignificant I may feel it is) is to whole heartedly recommend Fire In the Blood and point you towards their website: http://fireintheblood.com/ .
Please have a look at the site, watch the documentary and please get involved in making a difference.