War in the Blood

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War in the Blood
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Review

Arthur Cary’s feature-length documentary charts the drama of trying to re-programme human biology at the cutting edge of cancer treatment. We follow two leukaemia patients, Graham, 53, and 18-year-old Mahmoud, who have exhausted other treatment options as they take part in the first human trials of a new approach called CAR T-cell therapy.

Graham decides to take part on the basis that “It could be brilliant. Could kill me.” His wife Mellie confides to the camera that she has bought him a special Christmas tree decoration: a cloth guinea pig wearing a Santa hat.

As we chart the ups and downs of the gruelling treatment that Graham and the serene Mahmoud undergo, this is a moving portrait of the human side of science.

Summary

Documentary following two cancer patients who have volunteered as test subjects for an experimental treatment. CAR T-cell therapy has been described as the first step towards a cure - but 53-year-old Graham and 18-year-old Mahmoud may never reap the benefits, as their role is to allow scientists to monitor the side effects. The film examines the relationship between the patients and the clinical team, and how age and life experience affects their physical and emotional response to the treatment.

Cast & Crew

Director Arthur Cary
Executive Producer Morgan Matthews
Documentary