2017, 79minutes, the Netherlands and the Philippines
Directed by Juul op den Kamp and Ralph Pulanco
First Vita Plus is an extremely successful Filipino corporation selling natural health drinks that consumers claim have cured everything from minor ailments to different kinds of cancer. Through a multi-level marketing strategy, First Vita Plus has sold impressive quantities of drink sachets around the Philippines and now around the world.
With a mixed production team from the Netherlands and the Philippines, Sweet Medicine turns to the island of Palawan to examine the marketing and reception of these drinks in a rural and poor environment. Through interviews with doctors, health practitioners, and company executives, as well as extensive cooperation with Leo Diego, one of 2.5 million lower level marketing staff at First Vita Plus, this documentary offers an anthropological examination of the fast-growing business of food and vitamin supplements.
This film is part of Asia and the Pacific Screens Season Seven: Polyphonic Asia, presented by the Australian Centre on China in the World.