“Killing Patient Zero” tells the story of the man falsely accused of causing the AIDS epidemic in North America

“Killing Patient Zero” tells the story of the man falsely accused of causing the AIDS epidemic in North America

Source:  The Hollywood Reporter

The title makes it sound like a Cold War spy thriller, but Laurie Lynd’s documentary actually sets out to right a wrong.

“Killing Patient Zero” rehabilitates the public image of Gaetan Dugas, the French-Canadian flight attendant widely known as the man almost single-handedly responsible for the AIDS epidemic in North America.

As the film methodically illustrates, Dugas was an unfairly maligned, complex figure whose reputation was destroyed thanks to his notorious depiction in Randy Shilts’ groundbreaking book, “And the Band Played On.”

“Killing Patient Zero,” which recently received its world premiere at Toronto’s Hot Docs festival, is a fascinating eye-opener.

Read the story at The Hollywood Reporter.

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“5B” chronicles the history of San Francisco General’s HIV/AIDS ward

“5B” chronicles the history of San Francisco General’s HIV/AIDS ward

Source:  Out

Verizon Media has acquired and will distribute “5B,” a documentary that chronicles the history of San Francisco General’s ward 5B.

Ward 5B opened in 1983 to care for patients living with HIV and profiles the nurses and caregivers who provided compassionate care to HIV-positive patients at a time when an AIDS diagnosis was considered terminal, and it wasn’t known how the virus was transferred.

“We decided that if we can’t save these folks, we’re going to touch them,” one caregiver said of their approach to care, which included physical contact with patients at a time when most people were unwilling to approach someone with HIV.

The film is directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Dan Krauss (“Extremis”).

“5B” will premiere in June at L.A. Pride and then will have a theatrical release.

Read the story at Out.

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Short documentary “The Shift” shows the trauma of being a 911 operator

Short documentary “The Shift” shows the trauma of being a 911 operator

Source:  The Atlantic

“Do you see flames or smoke or both?”

“Do you know what she took?  Is she breathing?”

“I just want you to take a deep breath.  You’re pretty hysterical.  Ma’am, why are you screaming?”

These are just a few of the high-stakes situations that 911 operators face over the course of a single night at the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management.

In the short documentary “The Shift,” filmmakers Elivia Shaw and Paloma Martinez take us behind the scenes of 911 calls, revealing the intense demands of the job, and the associated stress that plagues many emergency dispatchers.

Read the story at The Atlantic.

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A new Smithsonian Channel documentary goes behind the scenes of the historic black hole image

A new Smithsonian Channel documentary goes behind the scenes of the historic black hole image

Source:  Syfy Wire

Last week, humanity caught its historic, first-ever look at the event horizon surrounding a black hole in outer space.

Interested in how science was able to achieve such a massive feat?

The Smithsonian Channel has you covered with a new documentary, “Black Hole Hunters,” which follows astronomer Dr. Shep Doeleman and his team as they set out to challenge the theories of Albert Einstein.

After ten years, millions of dollars sunk into research installations, and a coalition of more than 200 scientists from around the world, they accomplished their goal.

Read the story at Syfy Wire.

Watch “Black Hole Hunters” at the Smithsonian Channel.

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“The Providers” explores rural health care amid poverty and the opioid crisis

“The Providers” explores rural health care amid poverty and the opioid crisis

Source:  ABC News

Northern New Mexico is known for tourist attractions such as artsy Santa Fe, eclectic Taos, and the healing dirt of El Santuario de Chimayó.

The region’s relaxing spas and skiing options present middle-class and wealthy visitors the opportunity to bask in the allurement of quiet and breathtaking landscapes.

But seldom do these tourists stop in the drive-by towns and villages where largely Hispanic and Native American residents make their home. And there sits another side of northern New Mexico.

“The Providers,” set to air on Independent Lens on PBS this week, explores the world of rural health care amid poverty and a persistent opioid crisis by focusing on these northern New Mexico communities.

The film looks at the challenges three health care workers in rural New Mexico face as they provide services to aging patients and those struggling with addiction to alcohol and opioids.

Read the story at ABC News.

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Dr. Sanjay Gupta explores stress in America in new HBO documentary

Dr. Sanjay Gupta explores stress in America in new HBO documentary

Source:  Everyday Health

Why are more Americans dying younger?  In a dramatic reversal of declining mortality rates over the past century, life expectancy in the United States has dropped as “deaths by despair”—caused by drugs, alcohol, and suicide—have risen.

The situation is so serious that Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), issued a statement in November 2018 saying that “these sobering statistics are a wake-up call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable.”

In the new HBO documentary “One Nation Under Stress,” CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, sets out to diagnose the underlying causes of these preventable deaths.

The film weaves interviews with experts such as the neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky and forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht, with personal stories of Americans at risk of becoming another sobering statistic.

“One Nation Under Stress” premieres March 25 on HBO.

Read the story at Everyday Health.

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