Open Heart

“Open Heart” is the story of eight Rwandan children who leave their families behind and embark on a life-or-death journey to receive high-risk open-heart surgery in Africa’s only free-of-charge, state-of-the-art cardiac hospital, the Salam Centre run by Emergency, an Italian NGO. Their heart valves, damaged and weakened by rheumatic heart disease, which develops from untreated childhood strep throat, leave them lethargic and weak. Some of the children have only months to live.

During their cross-continental journey, “Open Heart” reveals the intertwined endeavors of Dr. Emmanuel Rusingiza, Rwanda’s lone, overworked public cardiologist, and Dr. Gino Strada, the Salam Center’s head surgeon. As one of Emergency’s founders, he must fight not just for the children’s lives but for the tenuous financial future of the hospital.

News

  • 10/2013 - Oscar-nominated "Open Heart" in Oktober on HBO

    Our Oscar-nominated co-prodution “Open Heart” will be broadcasted on 14 October on American TV channel HBO. The documentary can be [...]

    Our Oscar-nominated co-prodution "Open Heart" will be broadcasted on 14 October on American TV channel HBO. The documentary can be watched on several dates there the following two weeks. "Open Heart" tells the story of eight children from Rwanda with heavy heart diseases who travel to Sudan to have surgeray at the Salam Centre. The Salam Centre in Sudan is the only hospital in Africa that performs open-heart surgery with modern medical technology. The documentary by Kief Davidson was produced in co-production with Urban Landscape film production and arte.    

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    Further Information


  • 05/2013 - Oscar-nominated documentary "Open Heart" for the first time on ARTE on Mai 2nd

    On Thursday, May 2nd at 11:05pm the co-production version of “Open Heart” (52min) is broadcasted on ARTE. The Oscar-nominated documentary [...]

    On Thursday, May 2nd at 11:05pm the co-production version of "Open Heart" (52min) is broadcasted on ARTE. The Oscar-nominated documentary "Open Heart" by Kief Davidson tells the story of eight children from Rwanda with heavy heart diseases who travel to Sudan to have surgery at the Salam Centre. The Salam Centre in Sudan is the only hospital in Africa that performs open-heart surgery with modern medical technology. Led by the Italian NGO "Emergency" the centre takes care of ill children who come from all parts of Africa. Help and donate!

    arte
    Donate here: Emergency.it


  • 02/2013 - "Open Heart" Donate Now: Support Emergency´s humanitarian activities

    The Academy Nominee „Open Heart“ for Best Short Documentary follows eight Rwandan children who suffer from rheumatic heart disease and [...]

    The Academy Nominee „Open Heart“ for Best Short Documentary follows eight Rwandan children who suffer from rheumatic heart disease and go to Sudan to have an operation in the Hospital Salam Centre. Africa has the highest infant mortality rate in the world. One reason is the widespread rheumatic fever. This disease causes a rheumatic heart disease, which, if not treated properly, attacks the heart valves. Currently, 12 million young Africans suffer from it. The Salam Centre in Sudan is the only hospital in Africa to perform open-heart surgery using the latest medical technology. Led by the Italian NGO "Emergency", the centre takes care of the little patients, who come from all parts of Africa on. Donate Now!  

    DONATE NOW: EMERGENCY WEBSITE
    HOSPITAL SALAM CENTRE



Open Heart

“Open Heart” is the story of Angelique and Marie who – as will 6 other Rwandan children – leave their families behind and embark on a life-or-death journey to receive high-risk open-heart surgery in Africa’s only free-of-charge, state-of-the-art cardiac hospital, the Salam Centre run by Emergency, an Italian NGO. Their heart valves, damaged and weakened by rheumatic heart disease, which develops from untreated childhood strep throat, leave them lethargic and weak. Some of the children have only months to live.

During their cross-continental journey, “Open Heart” reveals the intertwined endeavors of Dr. Emmanuel Rusingiza, Rwanda’s lone, overworked public cardiologist, and the fiercely committed Dr. Gino Strada, the Salam Centre’s head surgeon. As one of Emergency’s founders, he must fight not just for the children’s lives but for the tenuous financial future of the hospital.

To about a quarter, Salam Centre is funded by the administration of Sudan’s President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir – an indicted international war criminal. During a visit, he suggests fundraising ideas for the center, including building a private, for-profit facility nearby for wealthy patients, which in Dr. Gino’s opinion directly contradicts the entire ethos and guiding principle of hospital: that all patients should be treated free of charge.

The Salam Centre remains the only facility in Africa capable of such high-standard cardiac surgery, free of charge. At once a marvel of modern medical engineering and the triumph of an idea, Salam is key in Emergency’s plan to treat and reduce heart diseases in an area three times the size of Europe and home to 300 million people. Building a world-class, technologically advanced cardiac diagnostics and surgery facility in the middle of a desert in Northern Sudan is an impressive feat on its own. Making its services free (including lifelong regimens of prescription drugs and follow-up visits) to anyone who steps through its doors is just shy of revolutionary. The idea that “the Right to be Cured” should be accessible and free of charge to every member of the “human community,” is part of Emergency’s operating ethos. To accomplish that, the Centre serves as a hub for the program for pediatrics and cardiac surgery that Emergency is implementing throughout its own medical facilities and local hospitals across Africa.

Director: Kief Davidson
Director of Photography: Zak Mulligan, Kief Davidson
Assistant DoP: Mike Norman
Editing: Kief Davidson, Flavia de Souza
Sound: Scott Hanlon, Safali Eugene
Music: Johnny Klimek, Gabriel Isaac Mounsey
Producer: Kerstin Meyer-Beetz
Produktion Managers: John Pouliot, Kathrin Isberner, Innocent J. Bilima
Mixing and Sound Design: Dino Herrmann
Commissioning Editors ARTE G.E.I.E. : Kornelia Theune, Catherine Le Goff
Executive Producers: Christian Beetz, Kief Davidson, Cori Shepherd Stern

Koproduktion

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Kooperation

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Förderer

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  • Open Heart

    arte
    02 May 2013 at 11:05 pm

  • Open Heart

    HBO
    14 October 2013 at 10:20 pm

  • Open Heart

    8th International DocsDF Filmfestival - Mexico City, Mexico
    27 October 2013 at 7:30 pm

  • Open Heart

    8th International DocsDF Filmfestival - Mexico City, Mexico
    28 October 2013 at 7:30 pm

  • Open Heart

    8th International DocsDF Filmfestival - Mexico City, Mexico
    29 October 2013 at 9:15 pm

  • Open Heart

    8th International DocsDF Filmfestival - Mexico City, Mexico
    30 October 2013 at 7:00 pm

  • Open Heart

    AfriDocs - Africa
    02 July 2015 at 9:00 pm

  • Open Heart

    arte
    08 January 2016 at 10:40 pm