Interview: Steven Williams – Director of Urine Aid
Interview done by Antonio Rozich
[dropcap]S[/dropcap]teven Williams is a Melbourne based, award-winning Film and Television Producer. Steve has hosted hit TV shows including Satisfaction, Seen, Fifteen Fabulous Minutes, and Living It Loud, which was aired on Foxtel and Channel 31 for over 13 seasons. After spending time working on productions in Los Angeles, Steve returned home to Australia to work on his next project, the feature documentary URINE AID.
Antonio: Hi Steven. Let’s start with some basic questions. You’re the director of the documentary Urine Aid which tackles the illusive health benefits of using urine as a medical alternative. You got intrigued by this alternative form of medical therapy after an unfortunate situation in your family. In short, can you tell us about the road between the situation and making the documentary? What was going on in your mind when you decided to do this?
Steven: Growing up I was a sufferer of a heart condition and was on constant medication. I spent a long time being fed prescription medications.
That’s probably why I am somewhat anti-pharmaceuticals. So when I started thinking about what I want my first film to be, I decided it would be about an alternative therapy. I have heard about Urine Therapy before and my first reaction was OMG and I laughed. I thought, why? Why on Earth would anyone do this? I looked into it more and as I met some people, heard their stories, and watched them drink their own urine, I realized that Urine Therapy is not just about treatment, it’s also about people who are sick of being so sick.
Q: I’d like to address the elephant in the room straight away. When someone says drinking urine, I’m certain an enormous percentage of people will instantly twitch and laugh to defend their feeling of uneasiness and discomfort. Drinking urine simply doesn’t sound like something you should do unless you’re a 10-year-old kid doing a dare for $5. Did the documentary help by convincing people to take a second look and give it a more detailed thought?
A: The concept of using urine to treat the body has always been a hard pill to swallow, as it has a huge gross factor. However, the more people I started to tell about the film, the more they told me they have heard about urine therapy, followed by an inevitable question – does it actually work? I discovered there were two types of people – some who have never heard about the subject and others who have tried this therapy. Most of the people were open to the idea and could not wait to see the film to find out more.
At one of the screenings, I had a few people contact me saying they had started the therapy and found it changed their energy levels. There is something very empowering about having your first drink.
Q: Some people interviewed in the film talk about the hardships of publishing their books on the topic of urine therapy. What about your film? Obviously, it’s much easier now thanks to the Internet, but can you tell us both about the obstacles as well as support you got?
A: It is always fun to tell people you are making a film on urine. As a first time filmmaker, this was going to be a huge challenge… Who would ever sponsor a film about such a taboo subject?! This is why I decided to self-fund the documentary. I have created a couple of Youtube clips as there was little awareness on the subject, unlike today when the internet is flooded with videos on the subject. Thanks to my devoted followers, I started a Gofundme page for donations to help submit to festivals. I still have a long way to go as the challenge is to find film festivals open to the controversial subject.
Q: The obvious and most likely the favorite argument for this form of treatment not getting bigger attention is a simple fact it’s free; some pharmaceutical company simply can’t profit from this because, well… you don’t have to go to your local shop to get a bottle of 100% natural urine. The thought of a company owning all the urine in the world sounds like something straight out of a Monty Python sketch.
What I’m trying to ask is the following: do you think for something to get a global attention it needs to go through a huge company since in the opposite case the pressure is too big and it stays in the shadows?
A: Big Pharma already makes money from the ingredients in urine as they use them in medications and beauty products. They just don’t want you to know about it.
Historically, Urine therapy has had a long history and it was popular in the 80s when the late Prime Minister of India, Morarji Desai, promoted drinking his own urine. In Germany, it has a huge following as many books became best sellers.
In other countries where controversial subjects are not talked about, it will always remain taboo. But the more we become aware of urine therapy and those who do this therapy are proud to say they drink their own urine, I think global awareness will happen. However, something that is free will always be demonized.
Q: Many people who actively practice urine therapy have noticed how after some time, it became something normal for them & they felt the benefits really fast. How much would you say the feeling “this is wrong & unhealthy” is in our head?
A: We have the same response to certain foods, for instance, bugs and similar weird creatures as we see it in some non-western cultures. We are conditioned from a very young age that urine is dirty as a waste product, so getting your mind around the idea of drinking it is quite hard, but often it’s the first choice as a last resort. Like with most things, we get accustomed to the funky taste in a very short time.
Q: Tied to the previous question; would you say “this is wrong” comes as a natural instinct or something that’s been “built” into us through society and media?
A: Urine has never killed anyone. We all started out floating in a mixture of our own urine when we were in the womb. Most people confuse this therapy with a fetish because our society looks down on the idea of urine. This is precisely why I wanted to make a film about urine therapy – to show people how it has worked and changed so many lives.
Q: It’s highly intriguing how various countries around the World have a similar approach to urine therapy. You interviewed people from the US to Japan and they all seem to have the same experience. In your search for people around the World, have you stumbled upon anything out of the ordinary? Some unique experience you might like to share?
A: I have encountered many people from around the world some who were given six months to live and started this therapy. It always amazes me how diverse their backgrounds are yet the results are much the same. Some of the most extreme cases are those who not only drink but also bath, inject and use it in every way they can. I think one of the most amazing claims was the woman who was treated for AIDS as we covered this in the film. During the last stages of her life and suffering a major healing crisis with pneumonia, her doctor reversed her illness. She now teachers others how to practice urine therapy.
Q: Finally, can you tell us about your future projects? Are you planning to expand this fairly awkward yet tremendously fascinating idea? Are there any new projects coming our way?
A: I am in the research stage of my next project, called Humble. It is also a controversial subject on the discovery of MMS by Jim Humble. MMS eradicates malaria in just a few hours. However, Humble has been chased out of many countries for exposing this, as many pharmaceutical companies have created a huge amount of pressure to stop anyone from selling it and treating people. I often think about what kind of world we live in when we can’t use a free cure.
Antonio Rozich is the Chief Editor for Cult Critic and enjoys anything has to do with filmmaking. Besides his usual copywriting work, he also helps filmmakers with their screenplays by editing them and finding the ways to improve the initial filmmaker’s idea. When the day’s work is done, he turns to his true & original love: writing flash fiction, which he posts on his site Syeta Stories.