RESISTANCE CINEMA Presents “SALUD” Directed by Connie Field - Produced by Connie Field, Gail Reed (2006, 93 minutes)
WHEN: THURSDAY March 24, 2011 7 PM (PLEASE NOTE THE THURSDAY SCREENING)
WHERE: Community Church NYC, Gallery Room 28 East 35th st. bet Park & Madison Aves.
ADMISSION: Free, donations appreciated
“History will absolve me” – Fidel Castro, October 16, 1953.
If in fact the Cuban revolutionary’s words come true, it will no doubt hinge on perhaps the most notable success story of his revolution. Cuba’s Health Care System and its international program of sending doctors to poor, remote, underserved parts of the Third World has earned it respect and admiration from all quarters.
A timely examination of human values and the health issues that affect us all, ¡Salud! looks at the curious case of Cuba, a cash-strapped country with what the BBC calls ‘one of the world’s best health systems.’ From the shores of Africa to the Americas, !Salud! hits the road with some of the 28,000 Cuban health professionals serving in 68 countries, and explores the hearts and minds of international medical students in Cuba -- now numbering 30,000, including nearly 100 from the USA. Their stories plus testimony from experts around the world bring home the competing agendas that mark the battle for global health—and the complex realities confronting the movement to make healthcare everyone’s birth right.
Against the alarming backdrop of the global health crisis and deteriorating public health systems in even the richest nations, ¡Salud! tells the little-known story of Cuba: a poor country overcoming its lack of resources to provide universal health care and help other developing nations do the same.
A feature documentary, ¡Salud! is directed by Academy Award nominee Connie Field and co-produced by Gail Reed. The film spans three continents to look at the philosophy and health professionals placing Cuba on the map in the worldwide movement to make health care a global birthright. Today, Cubans are among the world’s healthiest people, despite the island’s poverty. Cuba’s volunteer corps now posts 28,000 health professionals in 68 countries; and Cuban medical schools will graduate an unprecedented 100,000 new doctors from developing countries over the next decade.
The film’s cameras reach into The Gambia, rural South Africa, coastal villages of Honduras, the barrios of Venezuela, and river settlements in the Amazon, where a Cuban is often the first doctor a poor community has ever seen. In some nations they staff entire health systems. In all, they take with them the experience and philosophy of their own community-oriented, preventive and universal health care model fundamentally at odds with a global wave of healthcare privatization.
Through the Cuban experience, the film challenges us to reflect on the larger questions: What will it take to stop disease from decimating poor countries and reaching around the globe? How can we get enough doctors and health workers to where they are needed most? Do governments have a responsibility for the health of their citizens?
“their outreach program to other countries is unequaled anywhere in the world.”
FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER
“there are key sectors like health in a country like Honduras and all of Latin America, where the government is the only entity capable of addressing inequities.”
DR. JOSÉ FIUSA
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Honduras
“They go where they are most needed. They are flexible and very competent. That to us is an excellent addition to our efforts.”
Minister of Health, Honduras
“It's a completely new idea, to educate high quality doctors IN the community....Health is the first of our freedoms. ”
Minister of Higher Education, Venezuela