A film documenting the HIV struggle and stigma

Watch Dr Nagesh: The Stigma and Realities of Living with HIV, directed by Vincent Detours and Dominic Henry

Watch Dr Nagesh: The Stigma and Realities of Living with HIV, directed by Vincent Detours and Dominic Henry

What happens when a scientist, a passion for research and a filmmaker get together? They create stories documenting real-life journeys. That’s exactly what happened when Vincent Deters met Dominic Henry, a filmmaker. The two Belgians have made eight films so far including Bombay Workers, Dr. Nagesho, which is set in Mumbai, chronicles the life of a Titanic doctor working with HIV and AIDS patients. Co-produced by Good and Bad News and the Brussels Audiovisual Centre, it is written and directed by Detours and Henry. The story revolves around the trauma and stigma faced by AIDS patients. While some leave their wives, others continue to live with and infect their spouses.

The heart-wrenching film captures the tough reality with its cinematography. Emotions are captured in the patient’s hands, sloping shoulders or torn shoes. The scenes are stirring – whether it’s a pregnant woman infected with HIV, or a three-year-old girl who comes in for tests. It shows how Dr Nagesh and his team ease their suffering by treating patients at their clinic and making home calls.

movie poster

Detours says they were working on another documentary on HIV drugs in 2000. “This was at a time when India was moving ahead in making effective drugs to fight HIV. We then came to India to tour the pharmaceutical industry and met Dr. Nagesh, an extraordinary doctor. He was so inspiring that we wrote a story about him. Decided to make the film. Detours, a scientist and expert in cancer research, says he ventured into filmmaking out of passion. “We started making a scientific film about HIV drugs. When we realized that many people could not afford or had access to HIV drugs, we changed track because it was one of the most expensive drugs at the time. Both lived in India for four years. And spent a lot of time with Nagesh. “We shot at his workplace and ended up with seven hours of footage. it took us a year to make it Dr. Nagesh,Says the daters.

Nagesh will be screened at Bangalore International Center (BIC) in Vikalp on June 24 at 6.30 pm.