Rotary and Reeltime highlight polio with film screenings, panel discussion
Oscar-nominated documentary, The Final Inch, focuses on eradication efforts in India; “Martha in Lattimore” depicts life in an iron lung
Evanston , Ill. USA ( October 19, 2009 ) -- Nearly 50 years after the polio vaccine was developed, the wild poliovirus still attacks children in parts of the world. Rotary International, an Evanston-based nonprofit whose mission is to end the crippling disease, and Reeltime, Evanston’s free film and discussion series, present a screening of two inspiring documentaries about the impact of polio: the Academy Award-nominated The Final Inch, by Irene Taylor Brodsky, and Mary M. Dalton’s Martha in Lattimore.
This free event takes place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, at the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Avenue.
Nominated for an Academy Award, The Final Inch (2008, 38 min.) takes the viewer into the poorest neighborhoods in India , one of only four nations where the wild poliovirus still cripples children and is poised to spread into areas where it was stamped out decades ago. The first line of defense is a vast army of health workers and Rotary club volunteers, who go door-to-door to ensure that every child is immunized. Their mission: the global eradication of polio. “The Final Inch” is an inspiring homage to these heroic foot soldiers as they go about this massive, yet profoundly personal, undertaking.
The Final Inch will be followed by Martha in Lattimore (2005, 45 min) a loving portrait of Martha Mason, the Lattimore, N.C., resident who died earlier this year after spending 61 years in an iron lung, longer than anyone else in the world. This life-saving breathing machine kept her alive since 1948, when she contracted polio at age 11. Blessed by a curious mind, strong sense of humor and a loving community of neighbors and attendants, Martha became a published author and the spirited center of her hometown.
A post-screening discussion will be facilitated by Kris Tsau, Polio Advocacy Specialist for Rotary International.
Rotary made polio eradication its top philanthropic goal in 1985. As the lead private sector contributor and volunteer arm of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative -- a public/private partnership spearheaded by World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and UNICEF -- Rotary has contributed more than US$ 800 million to ending polio.
To date, more than two billion children have been immunized and polio cases have declined by 99 percent in the past two decades. Yet, serious challenges remain in the four polio-endemic countries: India , Pakistan , Afghanistan , and Nigeria.
The Final Inch and Marth In Lattimore
Wednesday, 21 October, 7:30p.m.
Evanston Public Library
1703 Orrington Avenue
Evanston, Illinois 60201
Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide to provide humanitarian service and help to build goodwill and peace in the world. It is comprised of 1.2 million members working in more than 33,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographic regions. Rotary members initiate community projects that address many of today’s most critical issues such as violence, AIDS, hunger, the environment and clean water.
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