Remote Area Medical
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Torontoist

Remote Area Medical

The human faces of America's broken health care regime.

DIRECTED BY JEFF REICHERT AND FARIHAH ZAMAN (USA, Special Presentations)
4 Stars


SCREENINGS:

Tuesday, April 30, 11 a.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre (93 Charles Street West)

Saturday, May 4, 4 p.m.
Scotiabank Theatre (259 Richmond Street West)


From our privileged position north of the border, perhaps no facet of American politics is more puzzling than the concerted legislative resistance to healthcare reform. Watching the remarkable Remote Area Medical, which documents the overwhelming response to a pop-up clinic set up by the titular relief organization in rural Tennessee, that puzzlement becomes outright astonishment—as well as admiration for the group’s volunteers, and an earnest hope that American lawmakers on both sides of the aisle will someday see the light.

Founded in 1985 to provide free medical aid to underserved regions of the developing world, the vast majority of Remote Area Medical’s operations now occur within the United States, where thousands of the ailing uninsured regularly flock to the group’s temporary treatment centres. The venue in this instance is NASCAR’s Bristol Motor Speedway—a setting that underscores the irony of the richest and self-proclaimed greatest country on Earth lacking the means to provide its citizens with basic healthcare.

For all its abundant political implications, however, Remote Area Medical is foremost a portrait of compassion, putting human faces—universally dignified and unfailingly grateful for the treatment they receive—to an issue too urgent to be obscured by partisan agendas.


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