Synopsis by Mark Deming
While AIDS may be one of the deadliest and most feared diseases of modern times, there is still a degree of scientific debate over the subject of just how the disease originated, and how the first cases spread. Peter Chappell and Catherine Peix, two filmmakers with a background in science, directed this documentary, which explores a controversial theory about the beginnings of the disease. In the 1950s, American and Belgian missionaries in the Belgian colonies of the Congo widely distributed polio vaccine to children in a bid to wipe out the crippling disease; however, evidence now suggests that Hilary Koprowski's oral vaccine may have been tainted, and that the first instances of the disease may be linked to these inoculations. Using interviews, newsreel footage, and documented research experiments, The Origins of AIDS examines how a combination of benevolence, careless lab procedures, and the need of a desperate few to cover their tracks could have led to one of the most serious pandemics of the 20th century.
AIDS, controversy, disease, epidemic, experiment, infection, missionary, origins, polio, scientific-theory, vaccine