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La Grande Tueuse
Christophe Weber
2006 - 57 min - Beta numérique - Couleur - France

H1N1 is a virus, a killer disease which has left its mark on history under the nickname of "Spanish flu".
In the space of two years, from 1918 to 1920, it affected more than half of the world's population, or 1 billion human beings, and killed between 20 and 40 million men, women and children.
Two or three times more than the number killed in the First World War...
The first country to be hit by the disease was the United States, which lost 549,000 of its citizens. In France, more than 400,000 people died, and in the United Kingdom 220,000. Europe counted its dead by millions, and the same was true in India and China (which lost about 6 million people each), South America, Oceania and Russia.
With the exception of the Black Death in the 14th century, the Spanish influenza epidemic was probably the most devastating of all time, and its consequences, still with us today, constitute one of the most astounding and fascinating historical developments of the 20th century.
We see it in today's fear of a global pandemic of bird flu, and the anxiety about this mutant virus, which every 20 to 30 years is reborn in a different form... and strikes without warning.
Where and how did what became known as "the great killer" appear? How was it gradually propagated and then dispersed throughout the world at lightning speed? How did different states try - sometimes with the energy of despair - to conceal it, fight it, and stem its advance? What consequences, from yesterday to today, did this catastrophe generate?
This film is an invitation to leaf through a novel, which is as fascinating as it is terrifying.
To look back at two years which rocked the world. Two years at last revealed by striking archive pictures, reconstitutions, computer-generated images and the testimony of specialists in the disease, which, in different fields and countries, tell the story of a massive historical issue which has been kept out of sight.

Author-Director : Christophe Weber
Delegate Producer : Ina (Institut National de l'Audiovisuel)


Distributor : Ina (Institut National de l'Audiovisuel)
Not commercial Distribution : ADAV