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Distributor Gets Political with Release of Healthcare Doc During Election Season

Distributor Gets Political with Release of Healthcare Doc During Election Season

I wish more film distributors would follow their political leanings with the films they present. When I hear about New York leftwing Jewish indie movie executives releasing the latest Christian agit-prop drama, I always cringe. So I was happy to hear that Roadside Attractions (which has cultivated the religious right before, see “Bella”) would be releasing Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke’s documentary “Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare” on October 5, just one month before this year’s Presidential Election determines the fate of the free world. (Yes, folks, it’s that important.)

“Fire,” which had its world premiere at Sundance, explores the problems in the U.S. healthcare system, with less outrage and more viable solutions. Five years after “Sicko,” the film chronicles such continuing issues as prevention vs. treatment; the system’s dependency on drugs; corporate profits vs. patient care; and the health care industry’s refusal to reform. I recently put the movie on my list of “4 Healthcare Movies the Supreme Court Needs to See.”

The looming court decision about the fate of the Affordable Care Act was explicitly behind the decision to release the film, according to the distributor.

“The upcoming Supreme Court ruling on the federal mandate to buy health insurance guarantees that the healthcare debate will be re-ignited,” said Roadside Attractions co-president Howard Cohen in a press release, “and inserted into the 2012 election in a big way, and this important film offers solutions that need to be part of that dialogue.”

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