As antibiotics fail, an elusive 100-year-old treatment promises to save lives and give hope to the world.

In a world threatened by deadly antibiotic-resistant infections, Last Chance to Save a Life paints a vivid portrait of an elusive 100-year-old therapy that could hold the key to humanity’s survival.

In Australia, as critically ill patients battle superbug infections, a new hope emerges from the unlikeliest of sources: viruses. Bacteriophages – or ‘phages’ for short’ - are nature’s viral warriors. These ancient viruses prey upon deadly bacteria with astonishing precision. Could phage therapy save these patients’ lives and turn the tide of the looming medical crisis?

Meet Jeremy Barr and Fernando Gordillo Altamirano, brilliant young scientists haunted by the grim reality of untreatable superbugs. Fuelled by an unwavering determination, they join teams of experts to harness the power of phages. As the clock ticks, they embark on an audacious experiment.

Last Chance to Save a Life weaves together two parallel narratives—the race against time as the scientists seek to tame the viruses’ wild nature, and the intimate stories of patients fighting to survive. Each patient is out of conventional medical options, so they will be injected with trillions of phages in the hope they can defeat their bacterial enemy. Neither the scientists nor the patients know if this radical approach will work.

Phage therapy has a curious history, flourishing briefly in times of Stalin in the Soviet Union, but largely disappearing from Western view as antibiotics became the wonder drugs of our times. However, as many antibiotics cease working, the potential of phage therapy is being looked at anew. The world urgently needs options.

In this gripping real-time narrative, the power of human resilience shines brightly as patients and their families expose the reality of the failure of antibiotics; from the heartbreaking goodbyes of loved ones, to finding hope in unexpected recoveries. In an emotional climax, the film unveils the complexity of phage therapy, and the tantalising glimmers of hope that promise to redefine medicine’s future.

From the Emmy award-winning team at Genepool Productions, this intimate and unforgettable film bears witness to the global renaissance in phage therapy— an ancient weapon in the battle against superbugs and, perhaps, humanity’s last chance to save countless lives.

"A compelling story of love, hope and fear". THE AUSTRALIAN
"Showcasing potentially ground-breaking medical research". SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
"A must-watch documentary". TV BLACKBOX


1 x 54-minutes


SBS Australia




Genepool Productions



Writer/ Director

Emma Watts


Anna Mantzoros

Executive Producer

Sonya Pemberton

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