Synopsis by Mark Deming
Three stories, which offer differing perspectives on the AIDS pandemic, are featured in this anthology-drama. Sister Clara (Chloë Sevigny) is a young nun who is working with two, more experienced, missionaries (Olympia Dukakis and Sandra Oh) in a village along the African coast. Sister Clara finds herself struggling against ignorance and misinformation among the natives, but discovers she can only accomplish so much through traditional means and is forced to make a great personal sacrifice for the greater good. Denny (Shawn Ashmore) lives in Montreal and makes his living acting in pornographic movies -- a career he's kept hidden from his mother (Stockard Channing), who depends on Denny for financial support. Like most of his colleagues, Denny must present current HIV tests to producers in order to keep working. But unlike most of his fellow porn actors, Denny is actually carrying the AIDS virus, and presents fraudulent test paperwork in order to keep working. And Jin Ping (Lucy Liu) collects blood donations from villagers in mainland China, but while she claims that the blood will be used in government hospitals, Jin Ping is actually in cahoots with illegal private doctors, and she fails to use proper methods for safe blood collection. When Tong Sam (Tanabadee Chokpikultong) loses nearly all of his friends, family, and villagers to AIDS, he takes it upon himself to do something about Jin Ping and her reckless actions. Three Needles received its North American premier at the Toronto Film Festival.
AIDS, HIV, epidemic, public-health, Canada, China, culture-clash, nun, social-worker, South-Africa, superstition