The international organ trade is laid bare in The Market

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      A small slum in Channai, India is known as “kidney village” because of its thriving human organ trade. Rama Rau’s doc The Market takes us there, where we see a woman named Prabha brokering the sale of her sister Hema’s kidney.

      “She’s just 27. Look at the quality of the product, don’t look at the money,” Prabha tells the buyer, pushing for the equivalent of $5,000 for her sister’s organ—enough to cover Hema’s debts.

      Prabha is also one kidney fewer than she used to be, along with three other members of her family. By the end of the film, she’s brokering for 10 clients, coaching them through the corrupt tribunal process and hooking them up to the right surgeons.

      Meanwhile, Sandra waits for a new kidney in Nanaimo. Her mother and daughter both urge her to purchase an organ on the market, but she’s uncertain—even after five years of dialysis and with time running out.

      Filmmaker Rau gets remarkably intimate with her subjects, including the Indian doctor who rationalizes and encourages the trade in organs, and Prabha, who bickers with her unemployed husband over the ethics of her work. In the final scenes, Sandra and her family travel to India to get an up-close look at the deal they might be entering into.

      The Market, which took the 2011 Hot Docs Don Haig award, is the latest entry in the Knowledge Network’s outrageously good Storyville series, screening Tuesday and Wednesday night.

      The Market screens tonight (Dec 13) at 9:00 pm, and Wednesday (December 14) at 12:00 am



      Organ reciprient

      Dec 13, 2011 at 5:41pm

      Unfortunately it's come to some going to the black market for an organ. I've had to make that decision and decided against it. Why, firstly, you're traveling to countries that are 3rd world and the standard of care can cost you your life. Two, going that route you may not be able to get the drugs needed to support that transplant from any transplant programs in Canada because of the way the organ has been procured. I have had two transplants and they only work for so long before you will need another so if you're thinking this is a one time deal think again and Canada has a three strikes rule.

      Storyline Entertainment

      Dec 14, 2011 at 10:30am

      Hi there - just a little mistake - the film itself did not win the Don Haig Award, it was the director Rama Rau.