3 Needles

Directed by Thomas Fitzgerald (The Hanging Garden), this sprawling and ambitious three-part Canadian film (2005) traces the spread of AIDS on three continents, but it gets off to a confusing start: its South African story of infected teenage boys being treated by three nuns (Chloe Sevigny, Olympia Dukakis, Sandra Oh) is interrupted to recount how an entire Chinese village is stricken after farmers sell their blood to a naive government worker (Lucy Liu). Then a Canadian porn actor (Shawn Ashmore), eager to keep working, tries to hide his condition by stealing his father’s blood, while his mother (Stockard Channing) devises even more baroque ways of coping with the problem. By the time the movie returned to Africa, it had lost me despite its talented cast and its noble intentions. In English and various subtitled languages. 124 min. (JR)

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