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Meet the 2012 Sundance Filmmakers #23: Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke, 'Escape Fire'

By Indiewire Staff | Indiewire January 10, 2012 at 9:30AM

Matthew Heineman learned the "Truth is stranger than fiction" maxim while traveling across America in an RV with friends. They were out to discover what made their generation tick; with no formal training they began The Young Americans Project and interviewed a spectrum of American youth (this later became his first film "Our Time"). He fell hard for filmmaking; "I loved the bond and trust that was quickly formed between my subjects and me. I loved the unpredictable." Now, Heineman and his co-director Susan Froemke want to transcend the misinformation about the countries' healthcare woes. Everyone has been affected, but there is still a significant lack of clarify. "Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare" (US Documentary) addresses what might be done to create a sustainable healthcare system for the future and hopes to inspire people to take control of their health and push for change once they understand the preserve nature of American medicine. What's it about: 'Escape Fire' is about fixing American healthcare. It’s about saving the health of a nation.
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"Escape Fire" director Matthew Heineman
"Escape Fire" director Matthew Heineman

Matthew Heineman learned the "Truth is stranger than fiction" maxim while traveling across America in an RV with friends. They were out to discover what made their generation tick; with no formal training they began The Young Americans Project and interviewed a spectrum of American youth (this later became his first film "Our Time"). He fell hard for filmmaking; "I loved the bond and trust that was quickly formed between my subjects and me. I loved the unpredictable."

Now, Heineman and his co-director Susan Froemke want to transcend the misinformation about the countries' healthcare woes. Everyone has been affected, but there is still a significant lack of clarify. "Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare" (US Documentary) addresses what might be done to create a sustainable healthcare system for the future and hopes to inspire people to take control of their health and push for change once they understand the preserve nature of American medicine.

What's it about: 'Escape Fire' is about fixing American healthcare. It’s about saving the health of a nation.

From 'Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare'
From 'Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare'
Says director Heineman: "Besides the difficulties in gaining the intimate access we needed to tell this story, I think the biggest challenge we faced was the topic itself: healthcare. It’s a hot button issue. But when you scratch beneath the surface, it gets academic/boring pretty quickly. It’s also a complicated and polarizing topic. There’s a reason politicians dating back to Teddy Roosevelt haven’t been able to successfully reform our system. 

So, from day one, we have understood these challenges and tried to find storylines and characters that help tell the story in an exciting and interesting way."

Indiewire invited Sundance Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they're doing next. We'll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2012 festival.



Keep checking here every day up to the launch for the latest profiles.

This article is related to: Sundance Film Festival, ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare, Meet the 2012 Sundance Filmmakers







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