25oct5:15 PMSweet Medicine at China in the World


October 25 at 5:15 pm


Australian Centre on China in the World

Building 188 Fellows Lane The Australian National University Canberra , Canberra ACT 2601

Sweet Medicine at China in the World

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.

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