2012 ,    »  -   16 Comments
Ratings: 5.52/10 from 25 users.

Stigma follows filmmakers Jeff Johns and Ryan Loughridge as they travel the globe to discover why more hasn't been done to completely eradicate the existence of Leprosy in the world.

Through India, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, they talk to WHO doctors and aid workers, while visiting numerous colonies and hospitals to meet those affected by the disease and to understand the life-changing stigma it has created for them and for their families.

While some prejudice stems from religious beliefs, much of the stigma is simply passed down from generation to generation. This has allowed a once biblical illness, often referred to as the world's oldest and most misunderstood disease, to continue to affect hundreds of thousands each year, right up into the twenty-first century - even though this disease is completely curable.

The World Health Organization proudly announced the elimination of Leprosy in 2000 and refused to take part in the making of this film. Conservative estimates indicate that over 200,000 new cases of Leprosy were reported in over 125 countries throughout the world in 2011.

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16 Comments / User Reviews

  1. whoopi_goldberg

    Worst documentary ever!! This is just a boring film about two American bros who aren't funny, charismatic or knowledgeable on their subject. This is more of a reality tv show than a documentary. A for effort, F for execution.

  2. N
  3. N

    How wonderful to learn the lesson of humility .

  4. Deejay Es
  5. Deejay Es

    i disagree , this documentary is well done

  6. Alexi
  7. Alexi

    This "documentary" is just embarrassing. Two dudes that haven't done any research talking about themselves for 80 minutes. well done.

  8. Pythus
  9. Pythus

    whoopi nailed it. dumbshit spoiled southern california bros who think they are well traveled and educated because there parents bought them tickets to "africa, europe, central america, and most of the united states."

    this documentary is not only condescending but a complete slap in the face to any form of decency.

  10. AntiTheist666
  11. AntiTheist666

    While this doc may not be the greatest ever made it is definitely worth watching. The production is a little self indulgent and slow to get going but if you can look past its flaws there are some excellent scenes to be enjoyed. You get a close up view of the horror of this terrible but curable disease while they travel through several countries and it’s the spirit of the people, the sufferers and carers that shines through.

    The drinking of the beating cobra heart appalled me at first
    but having thought about it I might try it someday, snakes alive!

  12. Ilya
  13. Ilya

    This documentary is not what the summary above explains to be. Instead, it's a mixture of youngsters traveling in Asia and showing the world shallow thoughts of theirs. If the film was focused either on how leprosy is treated in Asia, in contrast with other parts of the world, or how stigma significantly influences public (as the synopsis indicates), it would've made a true 'documentary'. It isn't, and that's why I'd rather categorize this as a random youtube video of two guys encountering new cultures. The 80 minutes I just devoted for this film turned out to be a tiny bit information on leprosy-that can be learned in 2 minutes by googling- and how nonprofessional the presenters were in making this documentary.
    PS. Their repetitive use of confined vocabularies is really bugging.

  14. Crea
  15. Crea

    I strongly disagree. This documentary was very well made and well done for the level of experience these guys had to produce a documentary; and I commend their effort to bring awareness about Leprosy. I am seeing comments about how "they're not knowledgeable on the subject", "how non-professional they were in making the film" or how "it's a slap in the face to any form of decency" (whatever *that* means).

    These guys were not hired by National Geographic to go and make a "real" documentary about this disease. They were not hired by anyone to provide in depth, hardcore research about Leprosy. (As far as the viewers know, we are not even sure they majored in Media Film Making when they attended college--there are degrees for that, you know.)

    They are just two regular guys who wanted to document their experiences about the disease and the people they came in contact with on this journey. They took it upon themselves: to book a flight, take several buses, trains and other means of transportation to go and *discover* what Leprosy was about. They took it upon themselves to learn firsthand about the stigma involved with the disease and just how it is affecting the availability and effectiveness of health services in these societies.

    I would be interested to know how many people, who are bashing this documentary, would drop out of college or leave the States shortly after graduating--to book a flight to go to 6 different countries they had little, if any, knowledge about, play it by ear, and see not only how Leprosy is affecting people, but what other individuals in these countries are doing to fight the stigma. (I am currently studying abroad, did research on the country I am living in, and I was not even as prepared as I perceived myself to be--let alone to just get up and go.)

    They shed light on how much social stigma is ruining the lives of people who have been affected. How it is difficult for them to reintegrate back into their own societies once they have been cured. They shed light on the differences of how Leprosy is being managed in these different countries (i.e. New Delhi vs. Vietnam: Safe Haven vs. Psych Ward/Prison).

    However, they also lighten the severity of the disease by getting to know the people in these communities with and without Leprosy. As opposed to finding the nicest hotels, buses, and trains to utilize, they integrated themselves into the culture and used the same resources as the people they were interviewing.

    So before anyone wants to post a comment about how "poorly made" this film is, it would be in their best interest to take a moment and consider the courageous effort made by these guys to place themselves in environments and cultures they had little knowledge about, sharing their raw experiences about those living with Leprosy, and make it into an accessible, awareness raising film that everyone is able to watch if they have a computer.

    You want a "professional" National Geographic documentary detailing where Leprosy originated from and the scientific name for the bacterium causing it? Go watch one. There are those of us who admire the act and art of DIY.

  16. Peter Ho
  17. Peter Ho

    These comments ruined it for me... but thanks for letting us know about your thoughts. Otherwise I would have watched through the whole thing and come to the same conclusion.

  18. Stretch
  19. Stretch

    These guys did a great job. Simply getting around in a foreign country, especially in Asia, can be extremely challenging. And on top of that, they accomplished a great deal by actually meeting with sufferers and the doctors treating them. As they said during the documentary, most places have the facilities to treat leprosy but it is the social stigma holding progress back, and this pair have done their part in bringing more awareness of the disease to armchair philosophers. I live in Thailand and often see leprosy sufferers, usually begging on the streets, where passers by will put a few coins in their cup to to feel a bit better about themselves. However, few take the time to extend the warmth of genuine humanity to these downtrodden victims. These documentary makers have taught me things I didn't know about leprosy and they have brought light and happiness into several people's lives, including their own.

  20. christine hewitt
  21. christine hewitt

    I'm 12 minutes into watching this film and I still confused as to whether this is actually a documentary on leprosy, or a home movie about two bros on a gap year vacation. Seriously, how has this won awards!?

  22. Eve Vee
  23. Eve Vee

    Although I try and refrain myself from forming any sort of opinion about the people who made the film or the topic until I've seen the whole thing and done some research, but I just have a comment.... why does it always seem to me like a lot of those who say they go over with kindness in their heart speak as if they are holding up a specimen with a gloved hand?
    He has already done a "couple projects about the subject matter"?
    I'm all for helping people, but when I watch these sorts of documentaries it feels like asians and africans are talked about with the same cadence as animals or scenery.

  24. Eve Vee
  25. Eve Vee

    Id also like to say how amused I am at the varying levels of sunburn presented throughout this film haha.

  26. ckm
  27. ckm

    This is narcissistic self indulgent bulls*it ''a grand adventurer'' type thing. The two man featured in this documentary are not considering the weight of the topic . They have no understanding or empty . They made a story about them self's not the people affected . This documentary is a waste of time.

  28. justbored
  29. justbored

    It's really amazing to see that these people infected with leprosy have not given up in their hopes and will to survive despite the pain and suffering they have to endure. Personally i think that this documentary has the potential to become even better if only these guys had focused more on the main topic and skipped over the unnecessary sharing of information about their friendship and school life or in other words ; their private lives. Not being ignorant, I loved the way they showed and expressed the culture and tradition of those countries or colonies they've visited and nonetheless shared those details or perspectives while trying to impress the viewers and broaden their views about the world and therefore also increases their knowledge. Being a southeast asian myself, I'm really glad that i've learned a lot about leprosy, humanity, culture and tradition about the other countries in southeast Asia throughout watching this documentary. I'm sorry for my bad english and misused of words. I hope that the people who have watched this documentary as well as myself will try to look more to the bright and positive side about the whole presentation and ignore the lackness found in this documentary.

  30. Judith Iscariot
  31. Judith Iscariot

    I think about 20 minutes total was spent on the actual issue of the stigma related to leprosy rather than having the camera focused on the two men who made this and them commenting on things unrelated to (or marginally related to) the subject matter.

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