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Healthy Balance

Individual Health, Universal Impacts: Health-Related Films at the Virginia Film Festival 2022

still from the film Dani's Twins

This year's Virginia Film Festival promises to highlight, as usual, a stunning variety of cinematic accomplishments covering an array of themes and perspectives.

When it comes to offering stories that show what it means to live with health disparities, these don't disappoint.

Dani's Twins

Dani Izzie, a Virginia resident, became one of the first quadriplegics to give birth to twins in 2020. Her story compels us to consider how the challenge of being a women with disabilities can impact families.

See Dani's Twins

Stay Awake

We're all familiar with the headlines that accompany the opioid crisis. But this film takes us deeper, telling the story of a family struggling under the weight of drug addiction in an authentic, stereotype-reversing way.

See Stay Awake

Devil Put the Coal in the Ground

Public health concerns show us a complex but critical truth: Our individual experience of health and wellness interconnects to larger cultural, corporate, and political contexts. This films uncovers these connections as part of the economic, environmental, and social impact of coal mining in Appalachia.

See Devil Put the Coal in the Ground

Clarissa's Battle

This film profiles Clarissa Doutherd, a single Black mother and activist living in Oakland, California. After becoming unhoused with her infant son, Clarissa begins to champion childcare and preschool as a human right. We see in her experience a personal health crisis, shown as a factor of sexism, racism, and poverty, with broad ramifications.

See Clarissa's Battle

Local Feature

Not health-related, but of local interest: The Lives Between the Lines. This intimate, powerful film documents the inspiration for and construction of the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at the University of Virginia.

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