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The Witch Doctor
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The Witch Doctor

When a Kenyan man discovers he is HIV positive, he turns to a traditional healer for help. But what advice will the witch doctor dispense? This light-hearted film has an important message about the relationship between modern medicine and folk treatments.

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Directed by Robby Bresson.

Originally featured in the ViewChange Online Film Contest.

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Segment 1

TITLE
X Media Kenya presents
TITLE
The Witch Doctor
SIGN
Liverpool VCT, Care & Treatment. LVCT. Building Partnerships, Transforming Lives
SIGN
Please note: All HIV services are free
WOMAN
Have a seat, please. Mr. Omau, first of all, I'd like to congratulate you for coming in voluntarily, and, like I said, you can still live a normal, healthy, productive life with HIV. Is there anything you'd like to know?
MR. OMAU
No, there's nothing. Just tell me.
WOMAN
The results are clear, and you're HIV positive.
MR. OMAU
What do you mean I'm positive?
WOMAN
It just means that the virus is active in your body. But it does not automatically mean that you have AIDS.
WOMAN
Let me advise that you go to a hospital and have your T-cell count taken so that we can immediately start you on ARVs. This is our brochure. It has everything that you need to know about how to live positively with HIV.
SIGN
An astrologer: Dr. Salim from Mombasa, astrologer for health problems, bad omen, a lost person, finances, broken marriage, impotence, 0711555555
DR. SALIM
Come in, my son. Tell me what ails you.
MR. OMAU
I want you to help me. I've been unwell for quite some time now. I had this persistent cold, and, after that, I developed some swellings. Now, they want me to take this T-count test for HIV. I'm sure there's another way of doing this.
DR. SALIM
Definitely. Yes, most definitely.
MR. OMAU
We can do it traditionally or spiritually, but please, just tell me what you want me to do, and I'm going to do it.
DR. SALIM
We shall consult the ancestors.
MR. OMAU
What do I have to do? I hear if I sleep with a virgin, I can cleanse myself. Oh my god!
DR. SALIM
Give me your right hand. Connect with your ancestors. Yes!
MR. OMAU
No, I won't do some of these sacrifices. Stop it, please! There are some things I can't do. I won't cut anybody's genitals, and I won't drink any albino's blood.
DR. SALIM
But you might have to! What then? You cannot back out now. Please will you hold this with you left hand. This is how you will connect with your ancestors, from your head to your heart right down to your feet. Clean! It is now too late to go back. The ancestors have spoken. Your answer is right here. Yes, young man. Let us go, let us move now. Ancestors. Do not worry, young man. You see, as the pamphlet says, you can still live a fully productive life even if you are HIV positive.