Contemporary World Cinema | 2016 | 140 minutes
Stranger Says: If you have seen Hollywood’s Concussion or Inside Man, then you will have a very good idea of the plot machinery that makes this average French flick tick. However, there are two important differences. One, the state and not a corporation is the villain in 150 Milligrams; the state is trying to suppress important information about a diabetes drug that has both commercial potential and dangerous side effects. (That said, the French might be more honest about the power relationship between the state and corporations than we Americans are. The state in advanced capitalist societies is always the ultimate power, whereas corporations are the proximate power.) The second thing is that the surgery that opens 150 Milligrams is so graphic, it will shock you into silence for the rest of the so-so and a bit long film. (CHARLES MUDEDE)
SIFF Says:A striking investigation challenging the multimillion-dollar French pharmaceutical industry, 150 Milligrams is based on the true story of Irene Franchon, who disclosed one of the biggest medical scandals of the past 10 years. Living in Brest, a French pulmonologist (Sidse Babett Knudsen) and her team decide to research strange cases of heart failure. They eventually bring to light the dangers of a weight-loss drug marketed by a major pharmaceutical group. 150 Milligrams tells an incredible and enlightening true story, backed by a strong scenario and renowned leading actors in Knudsen and Benoît Magimel. Intriguing and exciting, the thriller atmosphere perfectly suits their fight to disclose an inconvenient truth. At a time when the role of whistleblowers to alert society is questioned, this film highlights the energy and resolution of a small group of provincial doctors who enabled a tremendous change in the way French consumers perceive drugs and their industry.
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