Health screenings: ArtsQuest to show documentaries about health care issues

At a time when debate about how to reform the health care industry is raging, ArtsQuest and Lehigh University are pairing up to present documentaries aimed at raising awareness of the issues.

Each screening, at the Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas, will be free and include a talk with a panel of experts.

The series begins on Sept. 25 with “Care,” which focuses on two elderly women and two disabled men as well as the four women who have been hired to care for them. Huffington Post writer Riane Eisler praised the film, noting that “there are many deeply affecting moments of compassion and rich human connection” on view.

More than 65 million Americans, most of whom are women, are caregivers for elderly or infirm family members. The burden on caregivers is monumental. Eisler writes, “On average, a family caregiver loses over $300,000 in income and benefits in her lifetime.

“Indeed, the failure of U.S. policy to support caregiving in tangible ways that put food on the table and a roof over people’s head is a major reason for the disproportionate poverty of women.”

On Oct. 9, “Fix It: Health Care at the Tipping Point” screens. This two-years-in-the-making documentary includes interviews with those advocating for reform, including activists, health policy experts, economists, physicians, nurses, patients and business and labor leaders.

“Fix It” argues, according to the film’s website, that our dysfunctional health care system is “damaging our economy, suffocating businesses, discouraging physicians and negatively affecting the nation’s health, while remaining unaffordable for a third of our citizens.”

The series winds down on Oct. 23 with “Resilience: The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope,” which delves into how “adverse childhood experiences” can lead to physical ailments later in life.

Director James Redford (son of Robert) showcases the research of epidemiologist Robert Anda, who discovered that folks who are forced to grow up around physical, sexual or substance abuse tend to develop major health problems in adulthood.


What: Screening of three health care documentaries, followed by a talk with experts

When: 7:15 p.m. Sept. 25: “Care”; 7:15 p.m. Oct. 9: “Fix It: Health Care at the Tipping Point”; 7:15 p.m. Oct. 23: “Resilience: The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope”

Where: Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas, ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem

How much: Free; you can reserve tickets by calling 610-332-3378 or in person at the ArtsQuest Center box office.


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