3 Needles (2006)
Critic Consensus: In getting its message about the AIDS epidemic across, the film unfortunately sacrifices story and character.
"Three Needles" is a drama that visits rural China, a plantation in South Africa, and Montreal's porn industry, to tell three separate yet universal stories, rooted to struggles with the HIV pandemic. In China, Ping is a pregnant young woman running a black market blood collection scam that creates a mini epidemic in a rural village. In Montreal, Denys is a porn actor hiding his positive HIV status in order to continue working and supporting his mother--who herself goes to extreme lengths to provide for the family's future. And, in Africa, Sister Clara is a young novice nun, driven to convert the rapidly dying Africans to Catholicism before it's too late; she makes a desperate bargain with a corrupt plantation owner to help prevent the spread of HIV in the region, bringing two nuns, who are of her same order, to accompany her on the journey. … More
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as Jin Ping
as Tong Sam
as Canadian Health Care...
as Native Porn Actress
as Porn Cinematographer
as Olive's Date
as Porn Actress
as Soldier Xuan
as Porn Director
as Walla sounds (voice)
as Fater Dahmnu
as Bug Chaser
as Provincial Represent...
as Zao Hao
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Critic Reviews for 3 Needles
The situations are contrived, the ironies are cheap, and the dialogue is overly blunt.
If nothing else, [director Thom] Fitzgerald has demonstrated how huge a challenge the AIDS epidemic is on a worldwide scale, and how it will take a concerted, intelligent effort to solve it. It'll take a lot more than throwing money around.
Only the African story feels complete, while the Chinese story is gloomily hopeless and the Montreal story is just a bad idea. 3 Needles is not about AIDS; it's about the exploitation of it.
Broad in scope and at times visually stunning, [director Thom] Fitzgerald's project is ambitious but lacks cohesion.
It's hard to know what exactly the movie means with a lot of the choices it makes, even if, ultimately, it means well.
Though not as coherent as it might be, 3 Needles, with its stunning cinematography by Thomas M. Harting, is never less than engaging and suggests powerfully the myriad reasons why AIDS, after a quarter of a century, remains so difficult to combat.
Audience Reviews for 3 Needles
[font=Century Gothic]A few years previously, writer-director Thom Fitzgerald made a film, "The Event," about a man dying of AIDS in New York City. With his latest film, "3 Needles," he brings a global perspective to the edidemic in three segments:[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"The Fortitude of the Buddha" - In southern China, Jin(Lucy Liu), a very pregnant blood smuggler, sets up a blood donation unit in a village to pay locals $5 apiece for their blood. A poor farmer, Tong Sam(Tanabadee Chokpikultong), is too sick to give but he volunteers his 11-year old daughter, Qi(Yotaka Cheukaew), instead.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"The Passion of the Christ" - In Montreal, a porn star, Denys(Shawn Ashmore), is faking his HIV blood tests with his invalid father's(Aubert Pallascio) blood. Eventually his ruse is discovered.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"The Innocence of the Pagans" - In Africa, three nuns(Olympia Dukakis, Sandra Oh and Chloe Sevigny) arrive not to care for the large amount people suffering from AIDS, but to proselytize.(Thus, explaining why missionaries are some of my least favorite people.)[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"3 Needles" is an ambitious movie that is occasionally powerful and beautiful. Through an understated style with little dialogue, the movie tells three stories that do a good job of showing how AIDS can flourish through self-interest and exploitation but also a way of fighting it with activists united on a global scale. In the end, the people of the world need to communicate better with each other to improve the world we live in.[/font]
My review back in 2007: Although this movie is filled with good actors, it falls very short of a captivating, inspiring, or intelligent story on the AIDS crisis.
I was not fan's of any of these actors or the director, but due to the story subject I was willing to give it a try. The best story was the intial full story ripped from the headlines about AIDS being passed onto innocent Chinese rural citizens. What I was surprised at was that they do not touch on the cover up.
After an initial sad, but very truthful story the movie goes quickly downhill from there. The second story is an idiotic and selfish story, that puts in a twist, but doesn't pay off and only is weird. I felt no sympathy for any of the characters in that second story.
The third story show's the writer and director's total misunderstanding of Catholic theology, nuns, and their views. Then essentially makes a saint out of a Nun who pimps herself out to a rich western business man for the sake of the dying AID's children to make her out as some saint. It ends up being a sad and idiotic moral to a very real crisis in Africa.
This story is not like Babel other than being a losely connected story in various countries. Babel shockingly showed human connection through pain, but this story instead shows nothing of the sort. Instead, it uses a very real crises as a backdrop to some interesting story telling and outright mischaracterization of a faith and promotion of some Unitarian feel good afterschool hogwash.
One movie, three stories, one epidemic; AIDS.
The film begins in Africa where young boys are undergoing ritual which includes a circumcision, learning to fight, and to be come a man. From Africa we go to rural China where Jin Ping (Lucy Liu) runs an undergroung blood bank, paying the people $5.00 american per liter of blood they donate, and since most of the people are poor they are more then willin to donate. While taken the blood, Jin who is HIV positve along with her husband contaminates the people. Moving to Canada we meet Denys (Shawn Ashmore), a porn star who is HIV positive but steals blood from his ill father for his frequent 'tests' required by the porn director to hide his positive status in order to continue making porn movies to support his family. But after his father dies the director of the movies finds out he is postive and fires him. His mother (Stockard Channing) fearing for her and her sons life, learns that AIDS patients' are ability to cash in thier life insurance early, so she infects herself so that she can take advantage of the early insurance cash to provide a life of comfort in the small time they both now have for herself and her son. Then we return to South Africa where three nuns - Sister Clara (ChloŽ Sevigny), Sister Hilde Francis (Olympia Dukakis) and Sister Mary John (Sandra Oh) - set up a clinic to treat the villagers, finding only that acts of tremendous self-sacrifice can stave off the spread of the gore of AIDS. The boys from the beginning of the film who are now men are returning to life that it is filled whith pain.This film shows excellent cinematography throughout. It shows a lot of beautiful scenery, such as breathtaking waterfalls, beautiful sunsets, new moons. It examines moral dilemmas and the evil side of humanity. Worth watching.
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