A New Documentary on Healthcare is Released: ESCAPE FIRE

Escape FireIn light of all the recent changes in our American healthcare system, a new documentary on our broken healthcare could not come at a better time.  ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare is a 2012 feature-length documentary directed by Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Since ESCAPE FIRE premiered at Sundance, the award-winning documentary has been mentioned or reviewed in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, New York Magazine, LA Times, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and many other media outlets. The film received generally positive reviews, with an aggregate score of 67 on Metacritic and 81% on Rotten Tomatoes. It was a New York Times, New York Magazine, and Washington Post Critics’ Pick.


Below is the synopsis of the documentary as listed on their website:

The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare tackles one of the most pressing issues of our time: how can we save our badly broken healthcare system?

American healthcare costs are rising so rapidly that they could reach $4.2 trillion annually, roughly 20% of our gross domestic product, within ten years. We spend $300 billion a year on pharmaceutical drugs––almost as much as the rest of the world combined. We pay more, yet our health outcomes are worse. About 65% of Americans are overweight and almost 75% of healthcare costs are spent on preventable diseases that are the major causes of disability and death in our society.

It’s not surprising that healthcare tops many Americans’ concerns and is at the center of a political firestorm in our nation’s Capitol. But the current battle over cost and access does not ultimately address the root of the problem: we have a disease-care system, not a healthcare system.

ESCAPE FIRE examines the powerful forces maintaining the status quo, a medical industry designed for quick fixes rather than prevention, for profit-driven care rather than patient-driven care. After decades of resistance, a movement to bring innovative high-touch, low-cost methods of prevention and healing into our high-tech, costly system is finally gaining ground. Award-winning filmmakers Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke follow dramatic human stories as well as leaders fighting to transform healthcare at the highest levels of medicine, industry, government, and even the US military. ESCAPE FIRE is about finding a way out. It’s about saving the health of a nation.


In their official statement regarding the film, the directors state:

By combining powerful human stories with leading experts, we hope our film can help catalyze a paradigm shift in how our country views health and healing. ESCAPE FIRE will allow audiences to come away with a clearer understanding of how and why our system is broken, the barriers to change, and potential solutions, or “escape fires,” that could help fix our system. We hope people will be empowered to help push for societal change. We also hope to inspire individuals to take better control of their personal health, realizing that in many cases they have the power to heal.

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