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Accepted Film:

Sweet Medicine  
Anita Hardon (Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam) Ralph Pulanco (Palawan State Univeristy) Juul Op den Kamp (Independent)

Film short abstract:

Filmed by a local crew, this ethnographic follows those involved with a multi-level marketing company that sells a herbal medicine in the Philippines. While demonstrating its promised values, this film also reveals the widely used herbal product to be problematic for those selling and using it

Film long abstract:

Meet Leo, a dealer of First Vita Plus, a multilevel marketing company in the Philippines that sells 'herbal food supplements'. Despite being a philosophy scholar, Leo still needs supplemental income. Sweet Medicine shows how in old-world island Palawan, where one third of families live below the poverty line and have bad acces to sufficient nutrition and healthcare, Leo tries to convince people to buy First Vita Plus. "To treat and prevent all health conditions and make for a better life." Charismatic officials of the company suggest that Leo can become a millionaire if he works relentless in recruiting new dealers and selling the product, while the government warns that the food supplements have no proven therapeutic value, and that they lack facilities to guarantee quality of these products. Yet First Vita Plus keeps growing just as Leo keeps believing.This ethnographic film is the first cinematic translation of a 4 year long research by the ‘ChemicalYouth project’. Funded by European Research Council and shot with a local crew.

Panel Film02
Films II
  Session 1 Thursday 1 April, 2021, -