As Prescribed (2022)
Directed by Holly Hardman, 92 mins
Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, Ativan: they all belong to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines or 'benzos'.
News and entertainment media portray them in terms of addiction and abuse or as innocuous medications that relax nerves. As Prescribed documents a strikingly different narrative, following eye-opening stories of invisible illness and disability.
Boston-based survivor Geraldine Burns leads a grassroots army of “good patients” that help other victims and advocate tirelessly for benzodiazepine harm awareness. However resistance is strong; Geraldine and her cohorts are opposed by powerful forces that include pharmaceutical giants and a medical culture that has denied the problem for decades.
We were delighted to showcase this important film again, having featured it in the 2022 festival line-up.
The discussion after the screening was moderated by Global Health Film Advisory Board member Alice Hawryszkiewycz; Alice was joined by As Prescribed director Holly Hardman, protagonists Geraldine Burns and Sonja Styblo, and medical journalist Robert Whitaker.
Selected highlights from the 43-minute panel discussion are available below.
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