AUSTIN, Texas – (April 1, 2013) – The award-winning documentary “Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare” will be presented at 3:45 p.m. Sunday, April 7, at the Ritz theater, 320 E. Sixth St., in downtown Austin. This special presentation is co-sponsored by Ascension Seton and Alamo Drafthouse.
Admission is free of charge. Seats should be reserved in advance at www.drafthouse.com and clicking to the Ritz calendar. (Note: while admission is free, you must purchase a $5 food/beverage voucher that can be redeemed during the movie for pizzas, burgers, beverages and other items on the menu.)
“Escape Fire,” winner of four awards at major film festivals and an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival, exposes major problems afflicting U.S. health care, contrasting the powerful forces opposing change with compelling stories of patients and pioneering leaders seeking to help them. (See the movie trailer at www.escapefiremovie.com/trailer.)
The film is being screened across the country in 45 locations during the American Public Health Association’s National Public Health Week (April 1-7). The producers partnered with Ascension Seton primarily because they sought to screen this movie in the 10 states (including Texas) that have the worst overall health care statistics.
American health care costs are rising rapidly, yet overall public health is worsening. Obesity, heart disease and other ailments are on the rise and most health care spending goes toward treating preventable diseases that are major causes of disability and death. “Escape Fire” spotlights a root problem: the U.S. has a “disease care” system, not a health care system, and the films shows how the medical industry is designed for quick fixes, not prevention, and for profits over concern for patients.
The film also identifies attainable solutions and public movements to spread innovative, high-touch, low-cost methods for illness prevention and healing.
Dr. Stephen Pont of Ascension Seton, Central Texas’ largest health care provider, and Christie Garbe of Central Health, Travis County’s health care district, lead a half-hour discussion among audience members after the movie.
“Health care is an issue that affects all of us, but it’s so misunderstood,” said “Escape Fire” Director Matthew Heineman. “We all have a stake in the health of our nation because we all pay for it.
“Our goal with ‘Escape Fire’ is to provoke a paradigm shift in how our country views health and healing. We hope audiences will come away with a clearer understanding of how and why our system is broken, the barriers to change and potential solutions. We also hope people will walk away inspired to take better control of their personal health, realizing that in many cases they have the power to heal,” Heineman said.
Two of the most compelling subjects in the film are Dr. Erin Martin, a young primary care doctor struggling to help the “revolving door of patients” she is forced to see and Sgt. Robert Yates, a young soldier who struggles to wean himself off a deadly cocktail of drugs prescribed for chronic pain and post traumatic stress disorder.
“Escape Fire” also features Dr. Don Berwick, former head of Medicare and Medicaid; Dr. Steven Nissen, chair of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic; Dr. Dean Ornish, founder and president of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute; and Dr. Andrew Weil, founder of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine.