The Lazarus Effect
Executive produced by Spike Jonze & Susan Smith Ellis, The Lazarus Effect documents transformative effects that ARVs have on people, families and communities with accessible treatment. The film traces the story of Constance (Connie) Mudena, who lost all three of her children to AIDS. When she and her husband both tested positive for HIV, treatment was not readily available. At the end of each month, they had to choose between life-saving medicine, paying rent, or buying food. Constance eventually heard about a clinic with free drugs available, was one of the first people enrolled, and now serves as an HIV Peer Education Supervisor. The film follows gravely ill individuals beginning treatment, then a few months later progressing to health."(RED), Spike & I went into this film wanting the people in it to tell their own stories" says director Lance Bangs. “This film is a hopeful one, yet a reminder that almost 4,000 people still die everyday from AIDS in Africa because not all people who need access to the treatment have it." The Lazarus Effect is the center of a multi-media campaign by (RED) raising awareness of the impact of large-scale AIDS programs in sub-Saharan Africa and life-restoring effects of ARV medicine now available. Thanks to public health organizations like the Global Fund and PEPFAR, funding is reaching millions of Africans, and people are being taught how to stay healthy and protected from contracting and spreading the virus. Says Sheila Roche, Head of Global Communications (RED), and one of the film’s producers, "(RED) felt it was important to tell the story and share with the rest of the world the tremendous effect that providing access to life-saving treatment is having on the lives of real people and their communities throughout Africa…The cost of life-saving ARV medication is now 40 cents per day and we have to maintain investment in order to ensure that millions more people don't die needlessly from this preventable and treatable disease."
Starring Constance Mudenda, Concillia Muhau, Bwalya Liteta
Director Lance Bangs