Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Indiewire logo

Healthcare Docs Face Crowded Marketplace in Trying to Remedy the System

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik September 26, 2012 at 11:34AM

If Iraqumentaries dominated the nonfiction form half a decade ago, and the global economic crisis has been the de rigueur topic of late, a new subject is currently coming into favor: the state of America’s healthcare system. This month alone, three documentaries are being released that touch on the dire state of the medical industry and Americans’ not-so-well-being, as I report in this week's Docutopia column: Bobby Sheehan’s Doctored, which opened in New York last week, Peter Nicks’s The Waiting Room, which opens today, and Susan Froemke and Matthew Heineman’s Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare, which hits theaters next weekend.
0

If Iraqumentaries dominated the nonfiction form half a decade ago, and the global economic crisis has been the de rigueur topic of late, a new subject is currently coming into favor: the state of America’s healthcare system. This month alone, three documentaries are being released that touch on the dire state of the medical industry and Americans’ not-so-well-being, as I report in this week's Docutopia column: Bobby Sheehan’s Doctored, which opened in New York last week, Peter Nicks’s The Waiting Room, which opens today, and Susan Froemke and Matthew Heineman’s Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare, which hits theaters next weekend.

waiting

While my article focuses mostly on the content of the films, I wanted to take this space to momentarily comment on the rash of topical docs this election season, none of which will likely bask in the rightwing-driven economic glory of "2016: Obama's America."

Certainly, I'd like to think, as I wrote, that there's "a potential power in the sheer number of docs advocating for change" to do something about America's dysfunctional profit-driven “disease-care” system, which over-prescribes drugs, traffics in patients like cattle, and eschews alternative and other means of preventive medicine in favor of a more costly system that, as one cynical medical professional says, “doesn’t want you to die and doesn’t want you to get better."

But I also think all these social-issue documentaries that are currently playing in theaters may be, in some ways, cannabilizing each others' audience. Conservatives, after all, have only one documentary to see this season, but liberals have a dozen: Joining "Detropia," "Girl Model," "How to Survive a Plague" and several others already in release, there's "The House I Live In" and "The Revisionaries" coming up in the next few weeks.

And that's not to say that "The Waiting Room" and "Escape Fire" are partisan--in fact, what makes these documentaries strong, particularly "The Waiting Room," is that it's unbiased. But I have the feeling they are being marketed to the "Food, Inc." audience, who already seem to be bogged down with a number of worthy nonfiction movies to see.

What's the alternative? Maybe there isn't one. Or maybe attempts to peg issue-oriented films to election season isn't something that works for the party that's in power. As the successful releases of "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "2016: Obama's America" prove, it's the irate and frustrated body politic that really drives ticket sales.

Follow us

E-Mail Updates



Recent Comments

By Bob Connors: The thing to remember is the video has some actual data but it's conclusions are far fetched and inaccurate. This is a Progressive propaghand…

Who is "Politizane" and What's Next for the Income Inequality Viral Video

Mar 21th, 2015 8:47am

By Ostlee: This makes very sad reading - i feel for the people of Maldives. Everyone should boycott the island as a holiday destination until Nasheed…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 13th, 2015 5:35pm

By Ahmed Shahid: Release the first democratically elected president. The only president of Maldives who has reached the people of Maldives, heard them and…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 12th, 2015 9:37am

By Hanne Neve: Please take care of your country and the climate by freeing your real selektet president.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 11th, 2015 9:09am

By Iqbal: Please release President Nasheed

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 10:27pm

By Martha Robertson: I strongly urge the immediate release of Nasheed!

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 9:37pm

By Ned Rollins: Bad business, going to bite you.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 3:47pm

By John Painter: The guy isnt a terrorist.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 12:00pm

By Sofia Vera: I support Presdient Nasheed and add my name to this letter of support for his release.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 11:14am

By Margarett R Mulkey: A civilized society is required of the current government of the Maldives. The world is watching injustice and crimes, and many realized thes…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 10:53am