Cancer: The Fear Business


Germany is the spiritual home of what’s known as “alternative” medicine, which promises to heal without side effects, without chemicals, pain or the pharmaceutical industry. Especially where life-threatening illnesses like cancer are concerned, patients and their relatives are often willing to do – and pay for – whatever a “healer” recommends. But beyond the window dressing are often remedies and methods which have no effect whatsoever. Or in the worst case scenario can even be harmful. Quacks and charlatans prey on the fears and hopes of sick people – and make a lot of money out of false promises of cures.

In months of undercover research, the filmmakers have been able to reveal just how abstruse the therapies of non-medical practitioners and doctors treating cancer patients can be.

Are there miracle cures for cancer? Why are so many patients turning away from conventional medicine? And why is the law often powerless against money-savvy charlatans? The film delivers scientifically based answers and provides shocking insights into the business of so-called “gentle medicine”.

Written and directed by: Claudia Ruby // Camera: Dieter Stürmer, Thomas Kutschker // Sound : Simone Hartmann // Film editor: Jan Wilm Schmülling // Assistants: Hristio Boytchev, Konstanze von Kotze // Music: Stefan Döring // Sound mix: Florian Ebrecht // Production assistant: Katja Sträter // Production manager: Oliver Gontram // Executive producer: Thomas Weidenbach // Commissioning editor: Martin Schneider

– Carl-Sagan-Preis 2017 der GWUP e.V. (Gesellschaft zur wissenschaftlichen Untersuchung von Parawissenschaften)
– Journalistenpreis „Evidenzbasierte Medizin in den Medien“ 2017

  • YEAR 2015
  • LENGTH 52/45 min