This year's Global Health Film Festival will take place on Friday 08 and Saturday 09 December at the Barbican, Europe's largest arts venue.
The final programme is now online, with full details of the screenings, masterclasses, workshops, extended interviews and virtual reality installations.
Film Festival passes
A one-day pass costs £50, a two-day pass costs £80; your pass gives you access to the full programme of screenings, masterclasses, workshops, virtual reality exhibition, keynote sessions, as well as refreshments throughout the day and a drinks reception in the evening.
Single ticket purchases
Many of the afternoon and evening screenings will are available as single ticket purchases:
Friday 08 December
13:50 The Coming War on China
18:00 In Our Hands / PILI
Saturday 09 December
18:15 It's Not Yet Dark
This year's feature films include:
Unseen Enemy (2017)
Unseen Enemy examines why in the 21st century we are experiencing a rash of diseases that were once only outbreaks but have now become full-blown epidemics. Moving across the globe, you’ll meet our characters: doctors, disease detectives, everyday men and women. Every one of them has stepped into the horror of an epidemic and emerged deeply changed.
Examining the recent epidemics of Ebola, Influenza, and Zika, Unseen Enemy makes it clear that epidemics bring out the best and worst of human behavior, and that their effect goes far beyond the terrible tolls of sickness and death. We are all connected to any person, animal, and insect that may have an infectious disease incubating in them. Our connections can be either incredibly dangerous or powerful forces for good. It is our choice which becomes true.
Thank You for the Rain (2017)
Five years ago Kisilu, a Kenyan farmer, started to use his camera to capture the life of his family, his village and the damages of climate change. When a violent storm throws him and a Norwegian filmmaker together we see him transform from a father, to community leader to an activist on the global stage.
Thank You For The Rain is a feature documentary by Julia Dahr and Kisilu Musya. It addresses a range of issues linked to climate change, including climate justice, urbanization, gender equality, education, access to water, climate refugees, and adaptation.
Antibiotics were first massed-produced in the 1940s and their ability to fight and kill bacteria revolutionized medicine and profoundly impacted everything from agriculture to war. After less than 80 years, however, these miracle drugs are failing. Resistant infections kill hundreds of thousands of people around the world each year and there are now dozens of so-called Superbugs each with its own challenges and costs. How did this happen? Using microscopic footage, harrowing personal stories, and expert insights Resistance clarifies the problem of antibiotic resistance, how we got to this point, and what we can do to turn the tide.
The Age of Consequences (2016)
The Age of Consequences investigates the impacts of climate change on increased resource scarcity, migration, and conflict through the lens of US national security and global stability.
Through unflinching case-study analysis, distinguished admirals, generals and military veterans take us beyond the headlines of the conflict in Syria, the social unrest of the Arab Spring, the rise of radicalized groups like ISIS, and the European refugee crisis – and lay bare how climate change stressors interact with societal tensions, sparking conflict.
Whether a long-term vulnerability or sudden shock, the film unpacks how water and food shortages, drought, extreme weather, and sea-level rise function as ‘accelerants of instability’ and ‘catalysts for conflict’ in volatile regions of the world.
These Pentagon insiders make the compelling case that if we go on with business as usual, the consequences of climate change – waves of refugees, failed states, terrorism – will continue to grow in scale and frequency, with grave implications for peace and security in the 21st century.
The film’s unnerving assessment is by no means reason for fatalism – but instead a call to action to rethink how we use and produce energy. As in any military defense and security strategy, time is our most precious resource.
The Coming War on China (2016)
The Coming War on China is John Pilger's 60th film for ITV. Pilger reveals what the news doesn't - that the world's greatest military power, the United States, and the world's second economic power, China, both nuclear-armed, are on the road to war. Pilger's film is a warning and an inspiring story of resistance.
The Life Equation (2016)
What if there were an algorithm for saving the most lives?
Crecencia’s life depends on decisions made by doctors and donors, decisions increasingly driven by Big Data. It’s a scientific, evidence-based approach that cuts through the emotion and promises to transform the lives of hundreds of millions. But who, and what, gets lost in the number crunching?
The Life Equation is a powerful new documentary about global health in an era of Big Data.
Jennifer Brea is an active Harvard PhD student about to marry the love of her life when suddenly her body starts failing her. Hoping to shed light on her strange symptoms, Jennifer grabs a camera and films the darkest moments unfolding before her eyes as she is derailed by M.E. (commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), a mysterious illness some still believe is “all in your head.”
Pili lives in rural Tanzania, working the fields for less than $1 a day to feed her two children and struggling to manage her HIV-positive status in secret. When she is offered the chance to rent a sought-after market-stall, Pili is desperate to have it. But with only two days to get the deposit together, Pili is forced to make increasingly difficult decisions with ever-deepening consequences. How much will she risk to change her life?
Bending the Arc (2017)
The epic story of the global health movement is seen through the intimate narrative of Dr Paul Farmer, Dr Jim Yong Kim, and other courageous doctors and patients who led the fight, against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, to bring medical care to the poorest people and most neglected regions around the world.
The extraordinary doctors and activists whose work 30 years ago to save lives in a rural Haitian village grew into a global battle in the halls of power for the right to health for all.
National Bird (2016)
National Bird follows the dramatic journey of three whistleblowers who are determined to break the silence around one of the most controversial current affairs issues of our time: the secret U.S. drone war. At the center of the film are three U.S. military veterans. Plagued by guilt over participating in the killing of faceless people in foreign countries, they decide to speak out publicly, despite the possible consequences.
Their stories take dramatic turns, leading one of the protagonists to Afghanistan where she learns about a horrendous incident. But her journey also gives hope for peace and redemption. National Bird gives rare insight into the U.S. drone program through the eyes of veterans and survivors, connecting their stories as never seen before in a documentary. Its images haunt the audience and bring a faraway issue close to home.
Destination Unknown (2017)
Twelve survivors, twelve families torn apart by the Holocaust, twelve people striving to build a new future after the war.
Blending unique and intimate testimony with immersive archive, Destination Unknown unveils the human stories underlying the events of the Holocaust. These include one of the few escapees from the terror of Treblinka, and an exclusive interview with Mietek Pemper, who helped Oskar Schindler compile his List.
The film traces the narrow paths to survival, whether in hiding, fighting as partisans, or through enduring the camps such as Kraków-Płaszow, Mauthausen and Auschwitz-Birkenau. While a few managed to escape, most had to try to find a way to stay alive until the end of the war.
Their stories do not end with liberation. We see how they had to survive the chaos that came afterwards, and their attempts to build new lives.
The Island and the Whales (2016)
In their remote home in the North Atlantic, the Faroe Islanders have always eaten what nature could provide, proud to put local food on the table. The land yields little, so they have always relied on harvesting their seas.
Hunting whales and seabirds kept them alive for generations, and gave them the way of life they love; a life they would pass on to their children. But today they face a grave threat to this tradition.
It is not the controversy surrounding whaling that threatens the Faroese way of life; the danger is coming from the whales themselves.
The Faroese are among the first to feel the effects of our ever more polluted oceans. They have discovered that their beloved whales are toxic, contaminated by the outside world. What once secured their survival now endangers their children and the Faroe Islanders must make a choice between health and tradition.
Resilience delves into the science of adverse childhood experiences and the birth of a new movement to treat and prevent toxic stress.
Now understood to be one of the leading causes of everything from heart disease and cancer to substance abuse and depression, extremely stressful experiences in childhood can alter brain development and have lifelong effects on health and behaviour.
However, as experts and practitioners profiled in Resilience are proving, what’s predictable is preventable. These physicians, educators, social workers and communities are daring to talk about the effects of divorce, abuse and neglect. And they’re using cutting edge science to help the next generation break the cycles of adversity and disease.
Born in Syria (2016)
Since the beginning of the civil war in Syria, around four million Syrians have had to abandon their country, fleeing violence. Over half of them are children.
Born in Syria narrates the journey of these refugees from the point of view of the children who live this constant torment. They suffer the abuse of the mafias, the harshness of the sea, the uncertainty of the future with barely the shirt on their back, only to arrive at their long-awaited destination and start a new odyssey: an integration into a new land that, for many, is hostile.
This is the greatest exodus of refugees since the Second World War, seen from a height of four and a half feet through seven stories of war, suffering, and desperation… But ultimately these stories are also tales of innocence, courage, hope, and overcoming adversity, that help us understand what it means to have been born in Syria.
City of Joy (2016)
Devastated by 20 years of violence, the eastern part of The Democratic Republic of Congo is often referred to as "The worst place in the world to be a woman." This film brings a very different story from the region.
City of Joy follows the first class of women at a revolutionary leadership center in eastern Congo called City of Joy, from which the film derives its title, and weaves their journey as burgeoning leaders with that of the centre’s founders (Dr. Denis Mukwege, 2016 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, women's rights activist Christine Schuler-Deschryver and radical feminist Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues) - three individuals who imagined a place where women who have suffered horrific rape and abuse can heal and become powerful voices of change for their country.
A story about the profound resilience of the human spirit, City of Joy witnesses Congolese women's fierce will to reclaim hope, even when so much of what was meaningful to them has been stripped away.
The Children of the Noon (2016)
The Children of the Noon deals with the universal subject of life. Time passes, marked out by daily activities for the group of children and teenagers in the orphanage of Nchiru, a small Kenyan village. It becomes clear that their orphaned state and their poverty are not the only problems they share. A sudden death in the group reveals a dense web of pain, joy, friendship and hope.