Award-winning German filmmaker Daniel Harrich, known for his investigative feature length movies, says as a director it is his obligation to bring compelling issues to the fore. In "Master of Death", he exposed illegal military expeditions to Mexico and Colombia while "The Blind Spot" helped reopen the investigations into the Oktoberfest terror attack in 1980. "There are certain places where if you expose important people, your life is in danger. In Germany, we can do it without fearing for our lives. So, I feel it is our obligation to do that kind of reporting work," Daniel told PTI. "There are some people who may not like our work, but we have to do it. We believe in our work and the stories we have to tell. It is an important pillar of democracy," he adds. The director, who has established a genre of investigative movies in Germany, is back with his latest feature, "Gift". The film exposes the problems of counterfeit drugs which land in India via Germany. "We are not looking at India being the victim of fake drugs.
It's about the German market. Part of the setting is India which has helped us tell our story," Daniel says. The film is an amalgamation of facts and fiction. It is based on extensive research by Daniel and his team. According to the filmmaker, it was during their research when they came across counterfeit drugs for the first time and made a 90-min documentary, "exposing the scale of such pharmaceutical companies rolling out fake drugs." Daniel said they have been investigating in the field of pharmaceutical production and trade for nearly 15 years. "It all started with a documentary project on thalidomide, a medicine made by a German company, a sleeping medicine, that ended up severely affecting pregnant women and resulted in thousands of dead and disabled children all over the world," he says. The film, starring German stars like Heiner Lauterbach, Julia Koschitz, Luise Heyer and Bollywood actor Arfi Lamba, was shot in some of the slum areas of Mumbai. Daniel says despite some minor hurdles, it was an "easy" shoot and he felt safe here as compared to Mexico, where he has previously shot for his films. However, Arfi, who has featured in films like "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Loev", says the team did face problems with the unions in the industry. "I did have some issues with the shoot. In Europe, if you're shooting, people try to cut prices to make you comfortable. But the moment our unions see a foreign crew, they double the price. It's discouraging when people are trying to bring jobs here." The film is set to release on May 15 in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
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