Killing Patient Zero


TIFF Lightbox 1 Fri, Apr 26, 2019 8:30 PM
Scotiabank Theatre 4 Sat, Apr 27, 2019 12:30 PM
Hart House Theatre Fri, May 3, 2019 2:45 PM
OC, Live captioned Q&A
Film Info
Country Listing:Canada
Premiere Status:World Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2019
Program Category:Special Presentations
Film Subjects:Advocacy & Activism
Health & Healthcare
LGBTQ Cultures & Issues
Science & Technology
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Laurie Lynd
Producer(s):Corey Russell
Executive Producer(s):Trevor Birney
Editor(s):Trevor Ambrose
Writer(s):Laurie Lynd
Cinematography:Paul Steinberg


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1981: A mere seven years since homosexuality had been de-classified as a mental illness in North America. There was progress and a feeling of gay liberation in the air—and then, suddenly, a new disease was killing gay men. Initially called the "gay plague," AIDS became a shocking illustration of the entrenched homophobia of the time, with thousands of gay men dying before media attention and medical resources were brought to bear. At the centre of this storm stood Patient Zero, the man accused of spreading AIDS in North America, vilified as the embodiment of gay hedonism and promiscuity. Director Laurie Lynd peels back the layers of homophobia and misinformation to reveal the person behind the epithet, Québécois flight attendant Gaétan Dugas. Based on Richard McKay's groundbreaking book Patient Zero and the Making of the AIDS Epidemic, this is a fascinating portrait not only of a man, but of a crisis that shocked a community into action. Shane Smith

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Additional Information

  • In the Seats - 4 Stars
  • NOW - 4 Stars
  • Toronto Star - 10 movies you must see at Hot Docs 2019
  • BlogTO - 10 Movies getting the biggest advance buzz at Hot Docs 2019
  • NOW - Correcting the record on HIV's so-called patient zero
  • The Star - Documentary Killing Patient Zero seeks to restore reputation of Quebec man unfairly targeted in AIDS epidemic
  • POV - "Lynd draws an engaging cast of characters with notable figures from the queer community."