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Bending the Arc

2017
Distributed by Tugg, Inc., 855-321-8844
Produced by Kief Davidson, Cori Shepherd Stern
Directed by Kief Davidson, Pedro Kos
DVD, color, 102 min.
High School - General Adult
Health Services, Health Science, Psychology, Social Work, Social Workers, Community Health Services, Human Rights, Social Problems, Genocide, International Relations, Public Health, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)


Reviewed by Shannon Linehan, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

Highly Recommended  Highly Recommended   
 
Date Entered: 2/8/2018

Bending the Arc is an inspiring account of the power of collaboration and optimism in a world where the poor are often excluded from health care access. The story begins with the relationship between a young Dr. Paul Farmer and Jim Yong Kim at Harvard Medical School. Their late-night conversations criticizing large institutional forces and global inequities, led to the establishment of a foundation for bigger plans and dreams of solving some of the world’s biggest health crises—Partners in Health. The mission of the foundation is "to bring the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need of them and to serve as an antidote to despair." Examining case studies including tuberculosis in Haiti and Peru, HIV in Rwanda, and Ebola is Sierra Leone, involving models rooted in community organizing, training, and equitable resource distribution Bending the Arc explains how lives are changed and communities become stronger.

Highlighting the strength of individual communities as well as the voices who bravely speak out against the powerful governments and institutions that control money, medications, and services, Bending the Arc illustrates how Partners in Health has been able to stomp out the systemic barriers preventing entire communities of people from staying healthy and alive. By presenting the unique but simple concepts of training community health workers, and reallocating World Bank Funds to poor countries, the achievement of social justice can be identified when the blame is shifted from the patient, to the system.

This film will be a first-rate addition to academic libraries and collections supporting social work programs in particular. It presents a community model to social change. Instructors may want to also use it to depict the power of interdisciplinary work to highlight human rights issues and how to get basic human needs on the agenda of leaders in the forefront of creating social policies.