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Bending the Arc


As the poorest nations battled intractable diseases, a fledgling group of unstoppable health advocates took on a seemingly impossible mission: global health equity. In 1980s Haiti, in a remote region devastated first by tuberculosis and later by AIDS, Harvard medical student Paul Farmer, idealistic physician Jim Yong Kim, and activist Ophelia Dahl successfully raised funding and opened a clinic—but their patients weren’t surviving after returning home from treatment. The team eventually realized that clinical treatment wasn’t enough; they needed to radically change the way they interacted with the community. Through dramatically increased cultural sensitivity, pointed listening skills, local partnerships, and home visits, prognoses improved mightily, and the revolutionary Partners In Health was born.

Kief Davidson and Pedro Kos’s revelatory, vigorously researched documentary follows the dramatic success of a hands-on community health model that has, since its first project, rescued millions of lives. From a deadly multidrug-resistant TB epidemic in 1990s Peru to the first Ebola cases in Rwanda, this approach, and the intrepid team that envisioned it, transformed global health.

YEAR 2017

SECTION Doc Premieres


RUN TIME 102 min

LANGUAGE English and Haitian Creole/Spanish/Kinyarwanda

SUBTITLES Yes with English subtitles

EMAIL coristern@gmail.com

PHONE (310) 713-8769


Executive Producers

Artist Bio

Kief Davidson

Kief Davidson is an Academy Award–nominated director. His previous film The Ivory Game (2016), produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and was released by Netflix. Kief also directed A Lego Brickumentary (RADiUS-TWC) and HBO's Academy Award–nominated Open Heart. Other films include Kassim the Dream and The Devil’s Miner, which have won awards at AFI Fest, IDFA, and Tribeca Film Festival, in addition to the FIPRESCI Prize.

Pedro Kos

Pedro Kos is a director and Emmy Award–winning editor. His prior work includes editing Jehane Noujaim's Academy Award–nominated The Square, Lucy Walker's The Crash Reel and her Academy Award–nominated Waste Land, and Jon Shenk's The Island President. Bending the Arcmarks his feature documentary directorial debut. Pedro is from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and received a BA in theatre directing from Yale University.