TrustMovies can sometimes be too credulous. He admits this. He would like to think it is part of his charm, but it is more likely related to his stupidity. And if he is being credulous again in his passionate plea that you seek out and view the new documentary BURZYNSKI, so be it. Better credulous in the cause of some-
thing you believe worthwhile than suspicious to the point of an ignorance that approaches fundamen-
talism. (For the latter, see the "review" in this week's Village Voice, full of snarky innuendo and near-complete misrepresentation of what the film contains.)
The Cove and Charles Ferguson's No End in Sight has angered me more than Burzynski, less about the title character, shown above, and what he is doing (which appears to be pretty damn good), than because of how the medical establishment and our government (both state and federal) have unjustly harassed this man and his work. The unmitigated unfairness of what has gone on -- and continues to this day -- is so shocking and anger-making, that watching as it piles up in this documentary is enough to turn a reasonable man into a terrorist. And just why has all this happened? The good doctor appears to have developed a cancer cure, the success rate for which clearly outdoes all others -- the use of antineoplastons in the treatment of human cancers -- while avoiding the often terrible and sometimes fatal (especially to children) side effects of radiation and chemotherapy. Instead of embracing and encouraging this treatment, the powers-that-be have brought Bursynski up again and again and again on charges that have no basis in fact. Each time charges have been dismissed. That his method works is not disputed. What apparently is disputed is that a small, insignificant and maybe somewhat weird individual, rather than a large drug company, stands to profit from what looks like the best cancer cure anyone has come up with so far.
Eric Merola (shown left) that Burzynski, absolutely one-sided as it is, still rivets and brings up questions that must be asked about the collusion between our government, drug companies, the FDA and some very large institutions supposedly dedicated to conquering cancer.
Brent Leung's documentary House of Numbers that will finally be out on DVD later this month for all to see and finally weigh-in on. This is another good film that was summarily dismissed in similar fashion and deserves to be seen and argued about.
Burzynski opens Friday, June 4 at the Cinema Village theater in NYC, where director Merola will be appearing at Q&As following some of the showings of the film, and in Los Angeles at Laemmle's Music Hall 3. Further playdates around the country can be found here; click and then scroll down.
I'm not really sure how to respond to that one. I made a living in advertising, never really enjoyed it. I sort of got stuck in it, while always wanting to be in TV & Film. This is obviously an attack on my character, while ignoring the subject matter.
Since Ms Taylor mentions the possibility of an “undisclosed relationship,” I think this needs to be addressed. How did you come to make this documentary?
As I stated in my press kit, I have always been interested in documentaries that delve into hard truths, I'm a huge fan of "The Cove," "Food Inc," "Why We Fight," "No End In Sight," and so on.
One day in 2008 I literally called up the clinic to alert them I wanted to explore doing a documentary film on Burzynski. His assistants said "yeah, you and 10 other other people who claim to want to do this and either never follow through or waste Burzynski's precious time." Combined with the fact that Burzynski and his staff are always on the look-out for people posing as someone that wants to do the right thing, and then burns him in their report (see the recent Houston Press articles - they came in with a big smile pretending to be in support of him, only to burn him in their publication).
Burzynski was politely distrustful of me at the start. He made me read various books, review various publications, and jump through many hoops before even speaking to me in person. This was all through email via his assistants. Finally, after several months of back and forth and long gaps waiting for responses, he finally agreed to the first interview. I flew myself to Houston and had my first 5 hour on-camera interview with him.
What started out as a doc about his discovery—and my primary goal was to show patients, their records, and their recovery—blossomed into something much bigger than I had planned. I was also impressed at how organized and on top of his game Burzynski is. He had everything I needed readily available.
The longer I spent with him -- and the more he kept telling me about the rigged NCI clinical trials and the Dept Of Health and Human Services pairing up with one of his own scientists to file duplicate patents of his work -- the more things became exciting. However, I told him "I simply cannot put that stuff in this film unless it can be absolutely proven. Given the controversial nature of this film and his treatment as it is, I can't just start saying the NCI intentionally sent 9 people to death by ignoring protocols and diluting medicine -- and that the FDA itself was filing dupe patents of your work while simultaneously trying to throw you in prison. That's nuts!" But, after a long and laborious process of digging up documentation, he was able to prove it all.
As far as the patents, that's easy, anyone can go to "free patents online" and download them for yourself. They are public domain.
I have exhausted all financial resources on this film. I am presently living off of credit cards and borrowed money until the DVD release. I never received a dime from Burzynski, never met him before this, never met a single patient of his before this, I literally picked up the story and never put it down. The entire process, from gaining his trust, gaining all the documents and records I needed, and realizing that "wow, there they are!" - it's all here. No assumptions, no theories, just cold hard facts. I was stunned that I was able to acquire everything I needed to make this case. Lawyers have told me there is enough evidence in my film and in my possession to convict at least a handful of people for the rest of their lives -- that to me, is exciting. One really powerful lawyer even said he'd take the FDA to court "pro-bono" after seeing this film. But Burzynski told him, "no, we need the FDA to approve my drug, let's put this behind us, and move forward. We can't come in the front door asking for approval, and then the back door trying to indict them. We know we are right, they know they are wrong, the truth will surface." And it already has.
Wow. I am even more impressed than I was just after watching the film. That pretty much does it. Unless there is anything more you want to add. For instance, in her VV review, Taylor says that Burzynski claims (italics mine) to have cured scores of patients of a lethal brain cancer. But this is not just a claim, is it?This appears to have been proven, even according to the FDA and the courts.
Yes, the FDA's very own data, the very same data and process that any other member of Phrma would use to research a new drug for approval -- that process and the same people have recorded that the treatment works. No government entity, no physician who has reviewed his work (not some random article by the opposition, I'm talking about actually being in on a clinical trial, working directly with his patients, etc.) none of them have said "the treatment doesn't work." Look at the court testimony from Dr. Nicholas Patronas. He is the founder of the neuroradiology section of the NCI. The founder of the section of the NCI that deals exclusively with brain tumors! I'm not sure what else Ella needs! You really don't get much more "proven and legit" than a head of the NCI testifying under oath in support of Burzynski.
Ella also notes his claim to have cured scores of patients of a lethal brain cancer with a treatment derived from animal urine...
What about the part where she notes that you produce no patient records other than the doctor's own, and offers no credible proof of the drug's success and no data about its side effects?
Again, in the film you see the medical records from third party institutions, like MD Anderson, etc. -- not Burzynski's records. And again, all of these patients' recoveries were verifed by the FDA itself, because after all, they were cured while attending an FDA supervised clinical trial (did I mention these patient's recoveries were supervised by the FDA?) . To say I only used Burzynski's own records is another example of Ella's embarrassingly clumsy attempts at pretending she watched the film.
Unless she really is just slow...
And then there's the fact that she says you slam chemotherapy and radiation...
Again, if you watch the film, I do not once slam chemo or radiation. I use the FDA's own data on their side effects. I also allow the NIH to state for themselves the problematic nature of chemo & radiation.
I do have to admit the documentary does seem one-sided.
Frankly, I think the media is filled with enough of the opposition -- anyone can read it all they wish. I had certain goals I wanted to meet:
1. Proof the medicine works - medical records, etc.
2. State level persecution and victory
3. Federal level persecution victory
4. Proof the NCI clinical trials were rigged to fail, killing those 9 patients. (This is an important one as all the opposing members use that article as "proof" his treatment doesn't work. I needed to show thoroughly that that article is scientifically invalid. The NCI even admitted before they published it that "no conclusion can be made" - yet they published it anyway.
5. The patents.
I did have the film packed with "opposition", but between running time and meeting the goals I felt I had to meet plus just looking at how absurd the "opposition" is, I decided to cut it. Again, anyone can spend hours reading the opposition. However, I also think that I do show some opposition in the film.
Sort of, I think. In any case, you have really answered to my satisfaction Ms Taylor's objections as well as my own.
I'll be delighted to answer any more questions you might have.