Phillipps film draws attention of `Lancet'

Martin Phillipps
Martin Phillipps
Dunedin musical great Martin Phillipps has been featured in newspapers and magazines throughout the world, but he probably never envisaged appearing in the pages of the world's most prestigious medical journal, The Lancet.

The latest edition of the publication features a review of the recent documentary film made about his lengthy career in music, The Chills: The Triumph and Tragedy of Martin Phillipps.

While acknowledging Phillipps' contribution to music, it was the film's handling of Phillipps' diagnosis, treatment and recovery from hepatitis C that drew The Lancet's attention.

"The symptoms were overwhelming and ultimately damaging to his career, which never reached the heights it could have," its review, by Victoria Higgs, said.

"Through the lens of a music documentary, his story not only gives an original insight into the lived experience of addiction and hepatitis C, but also the personally transformative impact of treatment."

Directors Julia Parnell and Rob Curry are praised for sensitively charting Phillipps' journey through hepatitis, which spanned five different treatments, two of which were not included in the film.

"When it is then revealed that his latest treatment (sofosbuvir-velpatasvir) has cured his hepatitis C, the sense of relief is palpable ... and you can't blame him for checking," the review said.

"Phillipps has been given a second chance that would not have been possible only a few years ago."

The film has its European premiere in Athens next week, and last month had a limited run of cinema screenings in Australia.

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