Church Health Documentary Screens. 

Two free screenings of Getwell.

Negative stories about Memphis — emanating from within the city or from national media outlets — are common and often warranted. But, starting last week, local audiences got a chance to see something good about their city in the form of $5 Cover, Craig Brewer's made-for-MTV series about the artists and places within the city's vibrant, Midtown-oriented music scene.

This week, a similar opportunity presents itself at Malco's Studio on the Square with two free screenings of Getwell, a locally produced documentary about the Church Health Center, a nonprofit medical provider for uninsured Memphians that is the largest faith-based health center of its kind in the country.

Shot over the past three years by local filmmakers Patrick Sheehan and Gannon Weaver through their Eyeline Films production company, Getwell tells the story of Church Health Center founder Dr. Scott Morris, an Atlanta native and Yale Divinity School grad who set the center in motion with a 1985 letter to local reverend Frank McRae pitching the idea of opening a health center in Memphis for the working poor.

But the film's focus starts with the cuts to the state's TennCare program in 2005, opening with a gut-wrenching town-hall meeting where affected patients tell their stories to local elected officials. The TennCare cuts swelled the center's patient load to difficult-to-manage levels, only to have a second wave hit with dislocated New Orleans citizens heading upriver post-Katrina. These crises spur Morris and the Church Health Center to make the difficult transition from a mere service provider to an advocacy group for the people it is their mission to help.

click to enlarge A scene from Getwell
  • A scene from Getwell

Among the many compelling topics addressed by Getwell is the center's decision to tackle prevention issues (nutrition, exercise, nicotine addiction) with its wellness/fitness program, including a focus on the growing epidemic of childhood obesity. Morris notes that the childhood obesity problem will likely lead to the first American generation with a lower life expectancy than its parents. He is shown counseling a young girl on the path to being a 300-pound 14-year-old.

Though a Christian organization, Morris is insistent on the lack of proselytizing or religious restrictions at the center, seeing the Church Health Center's work in service itself.

Getwell is packed with interviews with health-care providers, philanthropists, government officials, and religious leaders. But, along with Morris himself, the most compelling figures on display are the center's patients, including a lifelong blind woman with a recent cornea transplant losing her insurance and risking going blind again and a once-obese woman who transformed her entire family's lifestyle with the center's help.

Getwell debuted last fall but will get a second showcase this week with two free screenings, at 7 and 8:30 p.m., Thursday, May 7th. To see clips from the film, go to eyelinefilms.org. For more info on the Church Health Center, go to churchhealthcenter.org.

Getwell

Studio on the Square

Thursday, May 7th

7 and 8:30 p.m.

Free

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Blair Witch

      Director Adam Wingard tries to recapture the found footage magic
    • War Dogs

      Todd Phillips' new film is a worthy attempt that falls short.
    • Don’t Breathe

      Trigger Warning: Claustrophobia

Blogs

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Eight Days A Week

News Blog

Film Row Gets MEMFixed Saturday

Fly On The Wall Blog

Mural Project Brings Hope to Affluent Neighborhood

Hungry Memphis

Huey's Downtown to Mark 20 Years, etc.

News Blog

City's Zoo Parking Plan Gets A 'Nope, Nope, Nope'

News Blog

Prosecution Dropped Against Lipscomb

Hungry Memphis

A Look at Catherine & Mary's Menu

Intermission Impossible

"Opera Doesn't Suck": Opera Memphis' General Director Ned Canty

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Chris Herrington

  • Last Words

    In "Enough Said," James Gandolfini makes his last lead film role his best.
    • Sep 26, 2013
  • Masters of Sound

    New albums from two of Memphis’ most distinctive stylists.
    • Sep 19, 2013
  • Hayes Carll at the Hi-Tone

    • Sep 19, 2013
  • More »

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2016

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation