The Life and Death of Patient Zero

Killing Patient Zero  


When a new, deadly virus spreads across North America at an alarming rate, one man is singled out for bringing the disease to the continent. 

Spanning the 1970s until today, the story of Gaétan Dugas – aka ‘Patient Zero’ – serves as the perfect microcosm of the evolution of AIDS in America and the country’s response to it. 
In the early 1980s, little was known about this global epidemic, except that it seemed to be most prevalent amongst gay men. America was in the grip of fear and uncertainty and, in the scramble for answers, Dugas would become known and vilified as ‘Patient Zero’. Exploring timely themes about fear, the demonising of the unknown and the danger of false narratives, this Fadoo Productions and Fine Point Films documentary weaves social history and scientific investigation into a poignant story of an individual who became intrinsically and tragically linked with AIDS.



“Infuriating and heartfelt”NOW TORONTO

:star::star::star::star:– IN THE SEATS

"A real evocative power...informative and powerful– IN THE SEATS

"A sense of restorative justice and narrative reclamation that makes this film feel very poignant" – IN THE SEATS

:star::star::star::star: – THE GATE

"Insightful, thought provoking, and empathetic." - THE GATE

“Offers a balanced look” – THE GATE

“Must see” – TORONTO STAR

"What Killing Patient Zero does especially well is contextualize the social movements that preceded the AIDS outbreak and inspired Dugas to live openly and fully” – POV MAGAZINE

“The film humanizes a man who has been erroneously demonized throughout history” – POV MAGAZINE

Lynd draws an engaging cast of characters with notable figures from the queer community– POV MAGAZINE

“A Fascinating portrait that doubles as a documentation of life during the initial AIDS crisis, something we should never cease revisiting” CBC


“Illuminating and arresting” – FILM-FORWARD

“Shocking” – FILM-FORWARD

“[a] moving, expertly crafted and breathless account” – NOW TORONTO

“Infuriating and heartfelt” – NOW TORONTO

Included on THE STAR’S list of 10 MOVIES YOU MUST SEE AT HOT DOCS 2019

“I highly recommend this incisive documentary” – RABBLE.CA

“An astonishing work” – RABBLE.CA

“A fascinating study of “fake news” in the absence of facts” – ORIGINAL CIN

“Powerful” – MACLEANS

“A revealing cinematic exoneration” – THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“A fascinating eye-opener” – THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“The documentary presents a deeply personal portrait of Dugas” – THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“The film methodically illustrates, [that] Dugas was an unfairly maligned, complex figure” – THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

:star::star::star::star:- THE QUEER REVIEW

“…a compelling exploration…”—THE QUEER REVIEW

“…riveting throughout…”—THE QUEER REVIEW

Trevor Ambrose’s skillful editing and Lynd’s writing feed us information at a fast pace, building momentum and creating a frequently intriguing and ultimately deeply moving account of how events unfolded.”THE QUEER REVIEW

“Totally unmissable movie” - QUEERGURU

“Should be compulsory viewing for any, and everyone, that wants to feel a sense of community and appreciate how our past helps to shape our future” - QUEERGURU

Genre: Theatrical, Non-Fiction

Sub Genre: History, Documentary, Biography

Year of Production: 2018

Running Time: 1 x 98-minutes

Available in HD: Yes

Country: Canada

Production Company:A Fadoo Productions and Fine Point Films Production