Filmmaker Kelly Duda gives us the bloody facts on plasma hustling in the Arkansas prison system that has led to the spreading of deadly diseases such as Hepatitus C and HIV beyond the prison walls to unwitting victims in need of a transfusion. These facts have been swept under the rug and denied by Arkansas state officials for far too long. “Factor 8” is here to herd the pigs responsible for this mess out into the light. It’s an ugly story, but it’s a story that everyone should hear.
For over two decades, the Arkansas prison system profitted by selling inmate donated blood. Prisoners would donate for a small sum of money and that blood would be sold to others in need for a much higher price. Fatal diseases often accompanied the blood supply as there was no proper screening process to assure that the donors were disease and drug free and needles were often shared amongst donors. “Factor 8” provides us with shocking eyewitness testimony from prisoners who worked in the donor lab and from those who were donors themselves. These people testify to the filthy lab conditions and blatant disregard for safety. This tainted blood eventually found its way to Canada for use in a medication for hemophiliacs called Factor 8. Users of this medication soon found themselves contracting Hepatitis C and HIV.
With “Factor 8,” Kelly Duda not only supplies us with the grisly facts of this case, but he also goes after state officials, even calling Bill Clinton out onto the carpet for some answers. He, as should we all, demands to know how this tragedy happened and why it went on for so long. This is an angering film and it’s a thorough introduction to this story that has been kept quiet for so long in the face of death threats and governmental cover-ups. And it’s a story that is continuing right now as innocent people are still struggling with ailments they were unwittingly sold and classaction lawsuits rise. Asses are in need of a major kicking and Kelly Duda has taken the first shot. Who’s next?