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Kindness of Strangers poster

Release Date: 1999-01-22 (Sundance '99)

Genre: ,

Rating: NR

Duration: 1hr 44min


With a passion, skill, and wisdom that is a credit to her as a filmmaker, Maro Chermayeff offers us an intimate portrait of the world of organ donation and transplantation. Too often the human story behind this complicated but life-saving procedure is obscured by legal, ethical, or technical issues that end up ignoring the often-dramatic stories behind these so-called miracles. Following the lives of four transplant patients and two donor families, the filmmakers interweave real-life medical dramas that pose questions about the rights of transplant patients, the complex problems that desperate institutions and recipients face in their quest for an organ, and the multitude of factors that have to come together to save their lives. The Kindness of Strangers is fueled by a personal awareness of the difficulties that those in need face and the antiquated prejudices and/or beliefs that have resulted in a process almost like a lottery to determine who lives and who dies. In this beautifully told inquiry, both the personal and human aspects of this tragic situation are illuminated and explored. With a sensitivity that makes its appeal without excess or overstatement, The Kindness of Strangers is determined to help rectify what is presently an untenable state of affairs. This is issue-oriented filmmaking that is both edifying and emotionally potent, an urgent call to confront a subject and its taboos that could ultimately save lives.

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