Homœopathic Links 2018; 31(02): 165
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1656529
Book Review
Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers Private Ltd.

Magic Pills

Promise or Placebo? A Documentary on Homeopathy by Ananda More (‘Phosphorus’ Film)Reviewed by
Corrie Hiwat
1  The Netherlands
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
28 June 2018 (online)

In this documentary, Ananda More takes upon herself the challenging task of finding out whether homeopathy has something to offer to today's health system and the medical profession at large. To do this, she travels to many countries and talks to medical doctors, researchers, scientists, both pro and contra homeopathy.

Her inspiration for this all comes from an experience during her university time, where she took a course with the title: ‘How to think about strange things?’ To see if there was any truth to things such as witchcraft, the occult and other subjects—of which homeopathy was one. She was utterly convinced that homeopathy was nonsense and couldn't believe that people were so gullible and easily manipulated into believing in something that seemed to her such a sham. To call a substance without anything in it medicine!

After graduating from university, she went off to do some backpacking in India and met a German woman who had a kit with homeopathic medicine with her. ‘One day I woke up feeling so sick and she gave me something. I don’t know what it was, but fifteen minutes later I was fine! I couldn't believe what had happened and that started the ball rolling'.

From here onwards the documentary evolves and she describes some of the history in science, where we see the age-old tendency to ridicule ‘crazy’ ideas that are later recognised as ground-breaking. On her journey she visits many specialists in the medical field. She meets scientists, practitioners and patients, and lets them speak for themselves.

The strength of the documentary doesn't only lie in the fact that this film was made and now exists and is available for everyone to see, but also in the position it takes with regard to the discussion on the subject. It's obvious that Ananda is convinced homeopathy is a reliable medical treatment, deserving full attention. The fact that she allows different voices to be heard, equally as strong, is an approach that gives the film its special quality. By giving a voice to those who come from opposite ends, she gives the viewer freedom to decide for himself whether homeopathy is nonsense or the possible solution to many unresolved medical problems of today.

A quote:

All we hear is that homeopathy can't possibly work, because we don't know how it works. The media ignore positive research and dictate how we should think about critical issues. Academic freedom at universities is being compromised. As a result we don't have access to unbiased information that would allow us to make educated choices in healthcare. To check whether homeopathy has really been effective or if it really is as unscientific as the sceptics claim, I decided to go out into the real world and see the scientists, practitioners and their patients for myself.

She presents reputable academics from both sides of the spectrum and wisely avoids interference, thus making what is being stated and presented strong and powerful in its own right. She not only lets them voice their opinion, but also introduces us to many field situations in which we can see people in action.

I watched the documentary with great interest. It is well made and I believe a true contribution to the quest and question of what this healing art entails.

It was very encouraging for me to see how, worldwide, homeopathy is being embraced and blossoming. Documentaries like these are important. (Another important documentary that is addressing the ‘homeopathy issue’ is titled ‘Just One Drop’.[a])

For more information on Magic Pills, people can visit magicpillsmovie.com/host and sign up to host the film. One can host a small event in the living room, or a cinema. The format makes it easy to go small or big. They are using a grassroots model to spread to the world how great homeopathy really is. It will still be a while before the documentary is available on DVD or to stream online. In the meantime, people are being invited to sign up to their mailing list at magicpillsmovie.com.