Lawmakers and American citizens seem to agree on very little, but the one thing that both sides can concede is that healthcare in this country is at a critical level.
Americans spend $300 billion a year on pharmaceutical drugs. 65% of Americans are overweight and the number people suffering from diabetes is climbing at an alarming rate.
This Sunday, CNN debuts the film “Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare.” The film exams the pressing issues in the healthcare industry from many sides, including the medical community, the pharmaceutical industry, the government and the United States military.
“Escape Fire” was created by award winning filmmakers Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke.
The title comes from a true story about a team of fifteen smokejumpers who found themselves at the top of steep ridge with a raging fire behind them. Realizing that they wouldn’t make it out, the foreman of the group took drastic action; he took some matches and set fire to the grass directly in front of him. The fire spread quickly uphill and he stepped into the middle of the newly burnt area, calling for his crew to join him.
But nobody followed him. They ignored him, sticking to what they’d been taught. The fire moved past the foreman and overtook the rest of the crew, killing them. The foreman survived, nearly unharmed.
This was how the ‘escape fire’ was invented and it’s now a standard practice in fighting fires.
The film compares the raging, out-of-control fire to the current healthcare system with a call to action to create unconventional solutions to the problem.
When asked about why they were personally interested in making a file about healthcare, the filmmakers responded with, “Healthcare is an issue that affects all of us, but it’s so misunderstood. Everyone knows what it’s like to get sick and put your trust in your healthcare provider’s hands. But most of us don’t think about our health unless we’re in the hospital or visiting the doctor. We wanted to show that we can empower ourselves to be healthier, as individuals and as a country, even before we get sick. We all have a stake in the health of our nation because we all pay for it. We felt like this was a subject that would hit home for every American, so we made it our goal to reach as wide an audience as possible.”
And what do Heineman and Froemke want people to take away from the film? “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, or “escape fires,” that could help fix our system. We hope people – upset by the perverse nature of American medicine – will be empowered to help push for societal change and recognize the “escape fires” around us. 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.”
“Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare” airs Sunday, March 10th on CNN at 8 and 11 e/p.
To learn more about the film and/or view a trailer, please visit this site.