Last month I reviewed and critiqued Magic Pills which was just about to premiere at the Illuminate Festival in Sedona, Arizona. Since then the film has had its debut screening. Here is a summary of how it was received, subsequent action to be taken, and future plans.
Ananda and the team left Toronto on Friday June 2nd to fly to Arizona. It is wonderful to report that the tickets for the film for the Saturday night had sold out, so a further screening on the Sunday took place. The audience was beautifully eclectic; although the film is of great interest to us all as homeopaths it is fundamentally important to encourage those who are curious about homeopathy to see it, particularly those who are sceptical. Perhaps not surprisingly, given it was a film festival, the majority of those at the premier in Sedona were not homeopaths.
This was a great opportunity to widen the horizons of those who have little knowledge of homeopathy and to help educate; we as homeopaths already know the potential life changing effects of homeopathic treatment. Ananda therefore was not preaching to the already converted, rather she was enlightening and opening a dialogue, fulfilling the original objective: ‘The film’s goal is to reach out across the gulf and open a dialogue that can lead towards a fairer understanding of the evidence for homeopathy. It juxtaposes the criticisms of the sceptic community with large scale, real world use and success of homeopathy and presents some of the genuine scientific data.’
Both audiences were packed with famous writers, filmmakers, and healers, who commented on the high quality of the film. The general feedback was excellent, and most people said that it had fuelled their interest in homeopathy and they were excited to learn more. Ananda states: ‘It really helped me see the possibilities and impact the film could have as it really does speak to audiences that don’t have a homeopathic background. The combination of stories and statistics empowers people do their own research and come to their own conclusion.’
Below is a photograph of Ananda, her husband and Bridgette, a homeopath, who introduced the film and who volunteers for Illuminate, accompanied by Mr. Tapas Raha (to the left as you look at the photo) who attended the premier and was present afterwards for Q &A. He is a character in the film who had a 10 year, grade 4 brain tumour and was a survivor. He attributes his survival to the Banerji protocols, which are featured in the film. It was thus a very moving and seminal event for him.
Before the screening in Sedona, Shaeri Richards interviewed Ananda on the making of Magic Pills, link here: https://tinyurl.com/y9d6eu3k . Ananda tells the story about how her interest in homeopathy was sparked after travelling in India, where she became sick and her friend gave her a homeopathic remedy. She then was motivated to follow up with a homeopath in Toronto.
She goes on to discuss how soon after, she attended lectures given by Dr Gustavo Bracho, PhD in immunology, where solid evidence was presented of the possibly indisputable success of homeopathic medicine in the treatment of leptospirosis, a tropical disease in Cuba. The overwhelming proof of effective, prophylactic treatment was blocked and was not permitted to be published in peer review journals. Ananda strongly felt that the story needed a voice and that the truth should not be supressed, this was a huge motivating factor for the film. Shaeri went on to explore possible reasons for the suppression of evidence and moved on to the possible mechanism of action of homeopathic remedies.
The premier of the film at the Illuminate film festival was brilliantly received and lived up to the team’s expectations. Although small, the festival was educational and intellectually stimulating, inviting questions and encouraging growth in many spheres. Magic Pills was therefore perfect in its thought provoking content and appeared to have achieved its objective which was: ‘to confront prejudices, open dialogue, educate the public on the true nature of research and encourage a movement towards more research funding and changes in public health policy towards a more integrated system of medicine, given the compelling evidence revealed throughout.’ The film serves as catalyst for homeopathic advocacy, building a grass roots community to help encourage and fight false narrative.
So what happens now? What are the next steps and where do we go from here?
It appears from talking to Ananda, that the successful experience in Sedona has paved the way for exciting new ventures and developments. The film will appear at another festival in Mexico in October.
Material is being prepared for community screenings and a limited theatre run whilst figuring out all the distribution ins and outs. A new in-depth website is in the process of being set up to accompany a Social Impact campaign. It is planned to organise a meeting of stakeholders to discuss next steps for homeopathic advocacy globally. Ananda also plans to edit a TV hour version this summer for broadcast to the public and the team are working to make it available on-line.
Funding and Volunteers
Serious funding is still required to carry out the above. So please encourage anyone you think may be interested in homeopathy and in seeing this film to help.
The Magic Pills team is looking for volunteers and anyone with PR experience, so please make yourself known to the team! Your skills will be put to the best of uses and you will have a magnificent experience in seeing your efforts through to fruition.
Please donate what you can! Donations are still available through the website: http://magicpillsmovie.com/donations/contribute-donation/