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Film Review: Bending the Arc

Spirituality & Health Magazine
reviewed by Bilge Ebiri

Bending the Arc

Kief Davidson and Pedro Kos

Impact Partners Film

This is a great, great story. About 30 years ago, a team of dedicated individuals—two young doctors named Paul Farmer and Jim Yong Kim, and a social activist named Ophelia Dahl—came together with the simple idea of providing health care to marginalized, impoverished people in central Haiti. A tuberculosis outbreak was happening, the country had no resources, and the world didn’t seem to care. the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and the international medical establishment, despite many promises, were often obstacles to helping aid rural and remote communities. To these massive structures, the most downtrodden were largely, and sadly, expendable.

Smuggling in medicines and sometimes flying in on weekends—Farmer was a med student in the U.S. at the time—these individuals pioneered the concept of community-based health care, training local activists and volunteers to help diagnose illnesses and distribute care. The result was cost-effective, compassionate, and dazzlingly successful. Their organization, Partners in Health, soon expanded to other countries and transformed the face of global health care. (In an exhilarating twist, crusading doctor Jim Yong Kim eventually became the president of… the World Bank, the first time the post went to a medical professional.)


This entry is tagged with:
Film ReviewsMedical CareHaitiDisaster

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