Changing The Needle

As Screened on ABC Television
One of the first films made in Vietnam by a Western film crew after the war
Winner Silver Dove Leipzig Film Festival

Changing the Needle

1982 53 mins Rated G

A quarter of a million drug addicts —one of the most serious consequences of the Vietnam War. These addicts were the citizens of the South, and of Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon. Shot in 1981 by three Australian women, Changing the Needle was the first in-depth film to be made about Vietnam’s unique approach to drug rehabilitation at a time when few foreign film crews had access to Vietnam at all.

Made in a country still ravaged by war and facing a large drug problem in its aftermath, Changing the Needle documents a rehabilitation program run with very few resources, including acupuncture, natural medicines, exercises, attempts to change attitudes and a complete change of environment. It travels from a small, crowded rehabilitation centre to a rural commune in the remote Central Highlands and is a rare look at Vietnam in the immediate post-war period

Changing The Needle fills in the historical background for anyone interested in Vietnam or the history of treatments for drug addiction. For migrants from Vietnam or those contemplating a visit, the film is likewise rewarding viewing

Production: Martha Ansara, Mavis Robertson, Dasha Ross

1982 Melbourne International Film Festival

2008 Barcelona International Drug and Harm Reduction Film Festival,