Press:


“This cinematic hand grenade makes a convincing case that HIV is not the cause of AIDS, tracing the unchallenged belief to political agendas, government laziness and indifference and corporate greed. Having filled his documentary with reasoned arguments by political activists, medical experts and celebrated professors who don’t adhere to the HIV-AIDS connection, director Robin Scovill clears plenty of space for the conventional thinkers to make their case, and he doesn’t ridicule or dismiss them. But their arguments seem flimsy and unconvincing when stacked against the counter viewpoints, and the film sizzles within that gap of opinion.”

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“Inspired by his HIV-positive wife, Christine Maggiore, Robin Scovill's documentary, The Other Side of AIDS, is a shocking indictment against the widespread notion that HIV causes AIDS, that people should take HIV tests, that AIDS drugs do more help than harm and many other ideas about HIV and AIDS. Focusing on many medicine-free individuals who have been HIV positive for years and peppered with major thinkers armed with skepticism and evidence contrary to popular opinion, this documentary should not be missed. Revolutionary in scope, expect some heated discussions after the screenings.”


“Explosively controversial documentary takes the ‘other side’ of the official medical stance on the origin of AIDS, specifically doubting whether HIV is a cause of the disease…

“The main proponents include once-prominent Nobel-nominated scientist Peter Duesberg, whose stock in the scientific community declined sharply once he began second-guessing the role of HIV, and personable, articulate activist Christine Maggiore, who has lived healthily without AIDS medication since she was diagnosed HIV-positive in 1992…Various other men and women diagnosed with HIV, but electing not to take drugs, weigh in with testimonies. Particularly interesting are those who allege that support groups in fact encourage fatalism and contribute to death: any belief in the ability to beat the odds is considered a form of denial…

“Scovill probably scores the most points in an emotion-charged interview with an HIV-positive mother forced by the state to give her newborn infant AZT although the baby, as well as her husband and other child, all tested negative. The inflexibility of the medical establishment, backed by drug companies and enforced by governmental decree seem in these cases to form an unholy alliance.

“The pic has already led to virulent controversy, and promises to become a cause celebre in the medical and gay communities.”

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"The Other Side of AIDS makes a substantial contribution to the international debate about the AIDS epidemic. Robin Scovill's film presents skeptical voices that challenge the conventional wisdom that HIV causes AIDS, that HIV tests are valid and that without taking cocktails of powerful drugs those testing HIV-positive are doomed to early death.

“The heart of the dissident argument focuses on the lack of scientific data to explain how HIV causes AIDS, the inability of the HIV test to really find the virus in a person's body and the toxicity of the current AIDS drugs that can themselves cause death. In some cases, children are removed from their families if the parents do not wish to give such highly dangerous meds to their children.

“Scovill doesn't come down hard on the dissidents' side. Rather the film suggests the need for more dialogue, especially when $150 billion in federally funded research over the past 20 years has brought us no closer to an HIV antidote.”

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Reviewed by Greg Ursic

“Christine Maggiore was devastated after testing HIV positive over a decade ago as the diagnosis was considered a death sentence. Like many others, Maggiore prepared to die, but soon discovered that there were people who were living healthy lives a decade after their initial diagnosis and without the ‘benefit’ of drugs. Together with her husband Robin Scovill, they began to examine the hard facts  about HIV infection and AIDS, and discovered a pattern of contradictions  from diagnosis to treatment.

“HIV tests – which look for reactions to nonspecific antibodies  - can yield false positives if the subject has one of several conditions including a cold, flu, or happens to be pregnant. More surprising is the revelation that scientists have never found the actual virus in a human being. Further confounding matters is that fact that there is still no globally accepted standard for a diagnosis of AIDS: while someone whose T-cell count drops below 200 has AIDS according to the U.S. definition, they would not Canada…The treatments used in the fight against AIDS raise just as many questions…

“This documentary will surely prove to be controversial, indeed many will view it as nothing less than scientific heresy. Scovill is careful however not to draw simple conclusions, presents solid arguments and most importantly asks viewers to examine the evidence for themselves. After two decades, $120 billion spent on research, and no concrete answers, maybe it’s time for a new set of questions.”

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Reviewed by Rebort

“Does a virus called HIV cause AIDS? If you thought that this was a given, then the arguments put forward in this controversial low-budget DV documentary may come as a big surprise…Interviews with experts, including Nobel prize-winning biochemist Kary Mullis, ex-Sunday Times science journalist Neville Hodgkinson, and Dr Peter Duesberg, a professor of molecular cell biology from the University of California, hammer away at the widely held assumptions about AIDS…

“Those diagnosed as HIV positive who have survived medication-free since the early Eighties, often living longer than those who took the drugs, provide a compelling argument at a human, anecdotal level. Gay men and HIV positive mothers, some who died in the course of filming, reveal just how much pressure their doctors, social workers, the law and even law-enforcement officers, put on them to take the meds in spite of the many unpleasant physical and psychological side-effects...Duesberg, who has been ostracized from the medical community for not toeing the line, suggests that zapping HIV viruses with prescribed AIDS drugs is akin ‘to shooting at bunnies with nuclear weapons.’

“One of the most passionate spokespersons for living with the virus drug-free is Christine Maggiore, a HIV-positive mother of two. Maggiore, it turns out in the closing credits, is also the filmmaker’s wife, and author of the book ‘What If Everything You Knew About Aids Was Wrong?’ One of the most troubling interviews is with leading AIDS expert and President of the International AIDS Society, and Professor of Molecular Biology at McGill University, Mark Wainberg...He suggests rather melodramtically that the constitution should be changed in order to punish ‘dissident’ scientists like Dr Peter Duesberg for suggesting that HIV does not cause AIDS…

 “The filmmakers should be congratulated for bringing the debate to a wider audience.”

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Notes From Hollywood
by Nicholas Snow

“Just when you thought it was safe to go to the pharmacy, filmmaker Robin Scovill is championing the cry of many doctors, journalists and HIV positive people who are taking on the ‘political correctness, conflicts of interest and unresolved errors surrounding AIDS.’ Scovill’s The Other Side of AIDS offers ‘an unflinching personal look into an issue the mainstream media doesn’t dare touch: the multi billion-dollar failure of the war on AIDS.’

“Scovill isn’t simply an observer of the AIDS epidemic. He is married to Christine Maggiore who was diagnosed HIV positive in 1992. According to my sources, after becoming a public speaker and AIDS educator, she questioned AIDS authorities, engaged in exhaustive research and refused AIDS drugs. She has lived in health for over a decade, marrying and having two healthy children with the film’s director. Maggiore is the founder of Alive & Well AIDS Alternatives and the author of What if everything you thought you knew about AIDS was wrong?

“In a recent interview, Scovill was asked if he ever found himself giving into the impulse to impose a personal perspective and propagandize a bit. ‘I’m married to a healthy HIV positive woman who lives a normal life and doesn’t take any AIDS drugs,’ explained Scovill. ‘We’ve conceived two healthy children together which seems to go against conventional rules, so naturally I have a personal perspective on this issue. Despite our experiences, I don’t believe I impose anything in the film, but rather present a side of AIDS to which most people have never been exposed. The objective is to shed light on many biased aspects of mainstream AIDS information. My film is not instructional; it allows people to make up their own minds on the issues,’ he concluded.”

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“One of the more intriguing documentaries entered in this year's AFI Film fest is Robin Scovill’s The Other Side of AIDS which takes a critical look at the diagnosis and treatment of those who have tested positive for the HIV virus. Over the course of 20 years, the government has spent more that $150 billion on AIDS research, yet no scientist can exactly explain how the HIV virus causes AIDS or provide a widely accepted explanation for the development of the disease.

  

“‘Doctors, scientists and HIV positives who challenge conventional thinking about AIDS have been attacked in the media and ostracized by their peers,’ explained Scovill during a recent interview with FilmStew. ‘The grants lost, labs closed, papers rejected, and names called stand as a kind of warning that scientific debate on the subject is considered closed and that questioning AIDS is not welcome, and even punishable.’

“Currently, scientists still do not have a test that zeroes in on the HIV virus… According to the film, none of the 30 or so HIV tests currently in use are able to find the actual virus, and none are approved by the FDA for the specific intended purpose of diagnosing HIV infection.

“Director Scovill, whose wife Christine Maggiore has tested positive for HIV, challenged these assertions and brought his findings to film. Maggiore was diagnosed in 1992 and has been living for 12 years without meds and has given birth to two healthy children, which she had with Scovill.

“’When I tested HIV positive in 1992, conventional wisdom was that you waited to become ill before taking the drugs," she explains. "Because my T cell counts always put me in the category of healthy, none of the many doctors I saw ever recommended I start treatment."

"As my knowledge and experience grew, so did my conviction that the pharmaceutical approach was not for me," adds Maggiore, who believes patients should take a more proactive stance in their own treatment. "Although I feel very strongly that everyone needs to make up their own mind about treatment, I also feel it's important for people to know that there are no published studies comparing the outcomes of HIV positives taking the drugs with those who don't, as  well as no long-term studies in the mainstream medical literature that  demonstrate the drugs' ability to promote health or prolong life."

“Through interviews with scientists on both sides of the spectrum, Scovill hopes to shine new light, or at least other points of view, on the facts that surround the HIV virus and AIDS. It wasn't an easy task, however…’It was very difficult to find AIDS experts willing to answer probing questions about HIV," explained Scovill.”

“In the end, both Scovill and Maggiore hope their film will help open people's mind to new ways of thinking about both the HIV virus and AIDS. According to Scovill, ‘There are valid, vital reasons to apply some healthy skepticism to what we have been taught about HIV and AIDS; there is much more hope and possibility than what we are currently told.’”

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