OZONE FILM COMING IN OUT OF THE COLD
BY DAMIAN INWOOD NOVEMBER 9, 1993
It took Vancouver film-maker Geoffrey Rogers more than seven
years to finish his first documentary. In fact, you'd think
that a medical treatment that claims to safely suppress the
effects of both cancer and AIDS would start a stampede of
interest. But the controversial use of ozone treatments is
scoffed at in North America, despite the fact that millions of
people have used it in Europe.
"The general feeling is that they look at this and go, 'I've
never heard of this medical treatment so why would you want to
make a documentary about it?'" says Rogers of his efforts to
find backers for the film.
But, despite being thousands of dollars in debt, the 30 year old
Rogers dream will be realized tonight when his film Ozone and
the Politics of Medicine gets its Canadian premiere at the
And the subject matter has become as much of a crusade as making
the film itself for Rogers. "The word's got to get out," he
says. "I didn't set out to make money." Rogers says ozone--
oxygen with an extra molecule--has had a bad rap from people who
associate it with urban smog pollution. His east side apartment
is strewn with documents and reports relating to the benefits of
ozone treatment. Today he's excited by news that Italy has
agreed to conduct a human trial using ozone against AIDS.
He says he first got interested in the subject when he was in
his final year of film school "and the pressure was on to get
something done." Both his parents are medical doctors and his
father, Dr. R. H. Rogers, was the first to use the treatment
eight years ago. Rogers says his father saved a Vancouver
developer's gangrenous leg from being amputated by using ozone.
Rogers says his father has stopped using ozone after receiving a
warning from local medical authorities.
"I thought, 'Why haven't I heard about this-something that
treats 40 different conditions?'" he says. The treatment is
used in Europe, particularly in Germany, and the film quotes
doctors on its effectiveness in helping cancer and AIDS
patients. But it's banned in North America and clinical tests
have yet to be done on its effects.
Some ozone treatment methods are shown in the documentary,
ranging from the controlled injection of ozone directly into the
bloodstream to mixing ozone with a patient's blood and then re-
infusing it into the body. Ozone has long been used in Europe
for sterilizing water and can kill bacteria and germs in a short
time. Rogers' film says it has the same effect in the
bloodstream, as well as promoting the immune system.
The film's budget, including deferments, is about $170,000, with
$60,000 still owing, says Rogers. He keeps the wolf from the
door by working as a cameraman on documentaries and commercials.
He's also worked as a camera assistant on "mainstream" shows
like McGyver and Wiseguy.
Since the world premiere in San Francisco two months ago, he
says, he's sold about 500 copies in New York and L.A. "We're
scouting around for a famous narrator--we've sent it to Oliver
Stone and Mel Gibson and Dustin Hoffman will get one," says
Rogers, who adds that he's run up $8,000 on his VISA to pay for
the film. "I think someone will sign on because the story is
big," he says.
FILMMAKER'S FUNDS LOST IN OZONE
BY CHRIS WONG NOVEMBER 5, 1993
What's Vancouver filmmaker Geoffrey Rogers been up to the last
seven and a half years? Apart from working as a freelance
camera operator for productions in the Look Who's
Talking/Wiseguy mode, he's been piecing together a documentary
on a controversial medical treatment; ozone therapy.
Rogers finally completed the 30 minutes film--Ozone and the
Politics of Medicine--about 24 hours before its premiere last
September in San Francisco. Vancouverites will get a chance to
view the documentary when it is screened at the Pacific
Cimematheque on Tuesday November 9, at 7:30 and 9 p.m.
Stylistically speaking, Ozone and the Politics of Medicine
doesn't have a special appeal; it's no This Blue Line. In this
documentary, which Rogers produced and directed, it's the
information that counts. The film provides evidence that
suggests ozone therapy--which essentially involves mixing blood
with ozone--is an effective treatment for people suffering from
a long list of conditions, including AIDS related illnesses and
cancer. "The statistics are staggering," says Rogers. "Ten
million people have used this in continental Europe, Millions of
people are getting effective results."
Rogers traveled to locations in Europe, Mexico, the U.S. and
Canada to interview numerous researchers, doctors, and patients
who attested to ozone therapy's value in combating disease.
Among those captured on camera was Capt. Mike Shannon, director
of medical operations for the Canadian Department of National
Defence. Shannon said tests have yielded a "profound
demonstration" of ozone's potential to act as a antiviral agent
against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which is widely
believed to cause AIDS. Specifically, the Canadian military was
involved in a study that showed that monkeys receiving blood
plasma contaminated with SIV (the simian equivalent of HIV), but
treated with ozone, remained healthy.
Despite such studies, the therapy is illegal in North America;
its use is restricted to the alternative medicine underground.
David Bates, former dean of the UBC Faculty of Medicine, goes so
far as to say in the documentary that "this is lunatic medicine,
and I really won't pay any attention to it." Regulatory
agencies, particularly the Food and Drug Administration in the
U.S., have rejected applications to legalize ozone-generating
equipment used in the therapy. That's in large part because of
the potential risks involved is using ozone. A major message of
the film, however, is that the underlying reason for opposition
to the therapy is the vas influence large pharmaceutical
companies have over the medical establishment. Those companies
wouldn't stand to make much of a profit on something as
inexpensive to produce as ozone.
Why was Rogers, who has no medical training, so consumed with
making a film about ozone therapy? Back in 1986, when Rogers
was finishing his film studies at UBC, he first heard about the
therapy from his father. (Both his parents are doctors.) After
interviewing some of the key proponents of ozone use, Rogers
became convinced that the therapy represents a major, but
neglected, medical breakthrough.
At the same time, Rogers learned about the grim realities of
independent film production. A major grant from the 1945
Foundation, which supports research on alternative cancer
treatments, and a minor one from the National Film Board of
Canada helped Rogers cover only part of the film's $150,000
budget. The 30 year old says he has ended up $40,000 in debt.
"It's been a nightmare in my life trying to raise the money," he
says. "I've been handling the financing through my Visa card."
As a result, there are no funds left for promoting the film.
Still, Rogers is working on getting the documentary a major
airing; he's hoping broadcasters such as the CBC, PBS, or the
BBC will pick it up.
OZONE THERAPY SHOULDN'T BE OVERLOOKED
BY REBECCA WIGOD
NOV. 12, 1993 - VANCOUVER SUN
Oxygen mixed with ozone is used in Europe to treat everything
from acne and asthma to cancer, stroke and AIDS.
Geoffrey Rogers, a Vancouver documentary film-maker, believes it
is time North American medicine took a serious look at ozone
Ten million Europeans have benefited from it, said Rogers, who
spent the last seven years making Ozone and the Politics of
The 30-minute documentary had its first Canadian showing Tuesday
at the Pacific Cinematheque.
Rogers, 30, traveled to Mexico and Germany while making his film
with co-director Reiner Derdau. He believes ozone therapy,
which is illegal and dismissed as quackery in North America, is
a profoundly important medical breakthrough.
"Why has the top management of scientific research on this
continent not taken this up?" he asked.
Ozone is produced from medical grade oxygen using a machine
called an ozone generator. Oxygen, mixed with a small amount of
ozone, is administered by injection or enema.
The theory is that oxygen produces energy fro healthy cell
activity and acts against toxins in the body. In Germany, where
the therapy is widely used, doctors say it successfully combats
Many cities water supplies are sterilized with ozone, and the
gas also has the potential to sterilize donated blood.
But representatives of the medical establishment, including B.C.
Cancer Agency's Dr. Hulbert Silver, say it's a long way from
sterilizing water or blood to giving ozone to living cancer
Silver said ozone therapy is totally unproven and is more likely
to cause cancer than cure it.
Rogers acquired his passion for the subject after seeing work
done by his father, longtime Vancouver family practitioner Dr.
In the 1980s, the senior Rogers used ozone therapy with about a
dozen patients before the College of Physicians and Surgeons of
B.C. advised him to stop.
The doctor, who believes in exploring promising therapies
outside the scope of conventional medicine, said it worked
remarkably well with a male patient who was about to have his
Describing the case, he said: "A chap was in deep trouble with a
large gangrenous ulcer on the bottom of his foot, and inflamed
heart and unstable diabetes, and was very down emotionally."
With the agreement of the patient's vascular surgeon, Dr. Rogers
attempted ozone therapy.
"His depression went. The inflammation of his heart went within
a week. His foot showed positive signs of healing within two
Ultimately, the mane's foot healed completely "and you couldn't
even see where he had had this dangerous wound."
Dr. Rogers attempted to get Vancouver hospitals interested in a
clinical trial of ozone therapy but failed.
Dr. Jack Harrigan, deputy registrar of the doctors' college,
said that before a therapy is used, it must undergo a controlled
study in a properly supervised setting. The results must be
objectively evaluated and approval gained from research and
Film-maker Rogers said the main roadblock to ozone's being used
in North America is people's feeling that the gas treatment is
His father said that with ozone, "everybody has this vision of
something sinister, something toxic."
They don't realize "it's like a chainsaw. You don't let just
anybody use it. It takes intelligence, experience and proper