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A Special Talks @ Pulitzer: Filmmaker Carl Gierstorfer and 'The Rise of the Killer Virus'

Event Date:

April 20, 2015 | 5:00 PM EDT
Media file: theriseofthekillervirus.jpg

A scientific detective story that crisscrosses the globe, tracing the origins of HIV and its lessons...


German filmmaker Carl Gierstorfer visits the Pulitzer Center for a special "Talks @ Pulitzer" on Monday, April 20, to screen his documentary The Rise of the Killer Virus and discuss his investigation into the origins of HIV.

With nearly 40 million people who have died and 30 million infected, AIDS is to date the most destructive pandemic in modern history. In an effort to combat the virus, a team of scientists traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo to investigate human specimens containing the virus. They concluded that the first transmission of AIDS—from chimpanzees to humans—was around 1908, decades before the first cases were known. The Rise of the Killer Virus is a detective-like medical mystery documentary following the researchers in their efforts to determine these origins.

The Rise of the Killer Virus premiered in the U.S. on the Smithsonian Channel on World AIDS Day 2014. Prior to its U.S. showing, the documentary premiered in Europe as The Bloody Truth. See the Smithsonian Channel trailer here.

To further follow the footsteps of researchers and discover the phases through which the disease has passed during its century-old history, visit the Interactive History on the Origins of HIV, which has been nominated for best science website for the 2015 19th Annual Webby Awards.

The documentary and interactive are associated with Gierstorfer's Pulitzer Center-supported reporting project "HIV's Origins-And the Lessons for Today."

NOTE: We'll be starting this special Talks @ Pulitzer earlier than our usual time.

The Rise of the Killer Virus and filmmaker Carl Gierstorfer
Monday, April 20
5:00-5:30pm Reception
5:30-7:00pm Screening and Talk
Pulitzer Center
1779 Massachusetts Ave NW
Suite 615
Washington, DC 20036

Closest metro stop: Dupont Circle

Space is limited so reserve your seat today: [email protected]—specify in subject line: "April 20 Talks @ Pulitzer."

Writer & Director: Carl Gierstorfer
Director of Photography: Renaat Lambeets
Editor & Art Director: Marcel Ozan Riedel
Executive Producer: Antje Boehmert

The Rise of the Killer Virus is produced by
DOCDAYS Production, YUZU Productions,
CONGOO, for Smithsonian Networks,


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