Killer Cure


2005, France
Original language
Running time
Directed by
Tracey Lindalee
Written by
Emmanuel Laurent, Tracey Lindalee
Produced by
Films à trois
Member page
Films à Cinq

The Killer Cure is the personal journey of desperate men and women in search of a medical miracle, at the intersection of hype, hope and heroics. The documentary follows sick and exhausted patients as they chase down their last chance to live, all the way to a broken down laboratory in the former Soviet Union. In the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, the last remnants of bacteriophage exist, tiny viruses that kill bacteria. As a tantalizing alternative to the growing impotence of antibiotics, the obscure bacteriophage may be the mightiest weapon left in our modern arsenal against infection. This is a long forgotten Canadian discovery, protected by a handful of equally desperate Russian doctors and scientists. And while their lab stutters on intermittent electricity and funding, Western entrepreneurs circle like vultures, looking for a return on the millions they have to invest. This is the landscape on which modern miracles play out. We will meet the indomitable Russian medical team, and the saintly researcher who attends to desperate pleas from all over the world. We will learn about the eccentric Montreal scientist, Félix d'Hérelle, who discovered bacteriophage nearly a century ago, was lured by Soviet interest and then was almost killed by Stalin's brutality. And we'll meet the wily Canadian entrepreneur fixated on turning a profit with phages.

The Killer Cure reveals the catastrophic consequences of our reckless misuse of antibiotics. It investigates the strange story of the phage and the attempts by Western scientists and entrepreneurs to unlock its potential. It follows the moving story of desperately ill patients, untreatable in the West, who seek help from phage specialists half a world away. And it poses the question: Is this the miracle we so desperately seek, or just another blind alley?