Bending the Arc Documentary Screening and Tribute to Paul Farmer
Bending the Arc Screening and Tribute to Paul Farmer
Partners In Health Fundraiser
Hosted by: Rotary Club of Northborough
6:30 PM Doors Open, with Light Refreshments
7:00 PM Bending the Arc Documentary Screening
8:45 PM Tribute to Paul Farmer
Forty years ago, as much of the world was being ravaged by horrific diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, three remarkable young people, barely out of their teens—Jim Yong Kim, Paul Farmer, Ophelia Dahl—came together in a squatter settlement in Haiti. Determined to provide the same world-class level of medical care they would expect for their own families to the Haitians that soon became their friends, they faced obstacles so enormous they weren’t even considered surmountable by the rest of the world.
The groundbreaking work they began in Haiti—creating a remarkable model of how to deliver the highest-quality care in the most unlikely places—would eventually grow to have massive global effects. They expanded beyond Haiti to Peru, then onwards to Rwanda, where they helped rebuild the country’s health care system. They averted a deadly MDR-TB epidemic, treating dying patients against official World Health Organization policy. They took on HIV/AIDS—becoming the first doctors in the world to treat patients in rural settings with full courses of anti-retrovirals. As a result, world policies changed, deeply entrenched ideas transformed, and millions of lives were pulled back from the brink of death.
Through remarkably candid interviews and stunning never-before-seen archival and on-the-ground footage shot in the midst of a deadly epidemic, the audience is immersed in the struggle of these fiercely dedicated characters as they fight ancient diseases, scrape together funding with the lives of their friends on the line, face scorn and hostility from the global health establishment, and suffer heartbreaking mistakes from their own lack of experience. Reaching far beyond the issue of health care, Bending the Arc shows how moral imagination, strategy, and sheer will together can change the trajectory of the world, bending the arc of the moral universe closer to justice.
Dr. Paul Farmer was an infectious-disease physician, medical anthropologist, professor, and prolific author. He was chief strategist and co-founder of Partners In Health, Kolokotrones University Professor and chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He also served as U.N. Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Community-based Medicine and Lessons from Haiti. Paul wrote extensively on health, human rights, and the consequences of social inequality. Tragically, the world lost Paul just over a year ago, on February 21, 2022.