Sunday, January 22, 2012

Penny Thoughts ‘12—Burzynski (2010) ***½

NR, 108 min.
Director/Writer: Eric Merola
Starring: Stanislaw Burzynski, Joe Barton, Dr. David A. Kessler

I’m not really one for conspiracy theories. I mean they’re fun and all, but I have a little trouble believing that in this day and age our government is capable of some huge cover up. What I do believe is that our government is less about the people these days than it is about money. Not in any intentional way so much as that’s just how things eventually line themselves out.

I lost my father to cancer this past year. It was a very aggressive cancer that took his life within 8 weeks of diagnosis. In that short period of time, his medical costs were astronomical. On top of that, the treatment program he began and ended almost before it began, would’ve made him sicker than the cancer and still wouldn’t have worked.

I’ve been hearing about cancer all my life. “Incurable” and “cancer” seem to be synonymous words. I know there are some cancers that are treatable with programs that cause little side effects if caught early. But when you think about it, early detection isn’t often such an easy thing to pull off. My father had been trying to figure out why he didn’t feel quite right for seven months before they found his kidney cancer too late.

Would it frighten you to learn that a man named Burzynski has developed a cure that is more successful than chemotherapy, has none of the degenerative side effects, and works almost immediately upon beginning treatment? Well, certainly that shouldn’t frighten you. Would learning that his treatment has existed since the late 70s and has been repeatedly attacked and blocked by the FDA and other health organizations despite the fact that none of them contest its effectiveness and no legal action against Burzynski has found any wrong doing in his actions? It frightened me. The reasons involving the financial relationship between the FDA and PhRMA aren’t so surprising, but are even more frightening.

I learned about the Houston, Texas based doctor’s research clinic and the FDA’s repeated attempts to stop him from practicing and bringing this treatment to the American public in the documentary “Burzynski”.  The truth is, much of the documentary could be false. I haven’t done the research, yet. But, the public records presented within it don’t seem to call for much to dispute.

The documentary isn’t skillfully made. The first twenty minutes could act as a promotional video for the Burzynski Research Institute. The rest of the movie is quite clinical and doesn’t have particularly interesting cinematic qualities, but the story it tells is fascinating. It is all presented in a fairly cut and dry format, leaving little to question about veracity of the facts. The only question is how could our government allow one of its own branches to deny something that makes so much sense to the American people?

You can watch the film in its entirety below and find out more at

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