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Bending the Arc

Optimism is a moral choice. – Dr. Jim Yong Kim

Thirty years ago, as much of the world was being ravaged by horrific diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, three young people, not yet out of medical school, set out to provide healthcare for Haiti's rural poor. They went on to spend the next three decades on the frontlines of health crises across the globe.

Paul Farmer, Jim Yong Kim, and Ophelia Dahl came together to deliver a world-class level of care — the kind they would expect for their own families — and build health clinics in remote areas ignored by everyone else. Their idea was controversial and revolutionary: to create partnerships with the patients themselves by training ordinary villagers as healthcare workers. Despite enormous resistance from the outside world, they made groundbreaking advances in combating the life-threatening conditions of impoverished communities and against the spread of pandemics including drug-resistant TB, HIV/AIDS, and Ebola.

Their inspiring vision is the subject of Bending the Arc, a new film by Academy Award® nominees Kief DavidsonPedro Kos, and Cori Shepherd Stern. Through candid interviews and never-before-seen archival footage, the film profiles the fiercely dedicated group of doctors and activists as they deliver the highest-quality care in the most unlikely places.

On December 11, New America NYCpresented a screening of Bending the Arc and a conversation with global health practitioners and experts to ask: is healthcare a privilege for those who can afford it or a basic human right?

INTRODUCTION

Nina Fialkow
Executive Producer, Bending the Arc
Chair, Massachusetts Cultural Council

PARTICIPANTS

Natalia Kanem, MD, MPH @Atayeshe
Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Alishya Mayfield, MD, MPH
Senior Clinical Adviser on Strategy, Partners in Health (PIH)

Anatole Manzi, PhD
Director of Clinical Practice, Partners in Health (PIH)

Donna Patterson, PhD @PharmacySenegal
International Security Fellow, New America
Associate Professor of History and Director of Africana Studies, Delaware State University

Lori Adelman @Ladelman
Executive Director, Feministing
Director of Youth Engagement, Women Deliver