DOCNZ: The New Zealand International Documentary Film Festival


-Mathew Backhouse, NZ Herald

  • Best Sign of the Times, Documentary Edge Festival 2013

Tales from the Organ Trade

World Premiere

Canada 2013 / 82min.
Director Ric Esther Bienstock.
Narrated by David Cronenberg

How much is your kidney worth to you? Your liver? For many people all over the world, organ transplants are desperately needed but in short supply, while others use their organs as a quick-fix commodity.

Every year thousands of organs are bought and sold on a black market that flourishes in dozens of countries where the rule of law is a hostage to the dollar sign.

In this gripping and provocative documentary, director Bienstock delves into the shadowy and often misunderstood world of black-market organ trafficking.

Travelling all over the world, from Colorado to the Philippines to Kosovo, Bienstock examines the players of this growing $500 million per year trade — street level brokers, rogue surgeons, desperate patients trying to save their own lives and the impoverished, everyday people parting with parts of themselves for instant cash.

Tales from the Organ Trade is a timely, nuanced and complex story of the ethical and legal ambiguities surrounding the shadowy world of black market organ trafficking. This is a trade that often substitutes for medical establishments which cannot always help their patients in time and the buyers who are faced with the choice of obeying the law or saving their lives.


Tales from the Organ Trade Trailer


Find similar films by topic: Economics, Health, Social/Community.

Page top

Documentary Edge Festival 2013

Sign of the Times (3/4)

Screening in Auckland

Sun 14 Apr
Time Venue/Notes Book Tickets
2:15pm Q Theatre  Q&A  Book 
Fri 19 Apr
Time Venue/Notes Book Tickets
5pm Q TheatreBook 

Other Cities

Key to symbols

Filmmakers and/or the subject of the film will be attending this screening.

Programme p.7