Sunday, 8 April 2012

Puncture

This afternoon I watched the movie, Puncture (2001).  It is based on the true story of how the American medical community made a major shift in its policies regarding health care especially of those in the service of health care.  The decision was to switch to the use of single use syringes and thus prevent the spread of epidemics and deadly diseases to a great extent.  Besides the script, editing and the characterisation of the actors, what struck me was the person of Michael Weiss (played by Chris Evans).

The fact that he choose to take on the nation's powerful health department lobby with its far reaching tentacles, while he being a guy with his own demons with regards to health, is something quite challenging to understand.

The real Michael David Weiss
Secondly the movie does not in any way try to portray him as the 'saviour'.  He is just an ordinary guy who has this gut level feeling that what he is up to is the right thing... even if he has to face evident defeat at the hands of the rich and powerful.  I wonder how many of us would have that courage - or lunacy? - to stand against a structure or established institution?

The movie does not hesitate to accuse the American administration, especially its shrewd and insensitive health policies, of being the cause of spread of epidemics in the developing countries of Africa, Asia and South America.  Though being  a major cause, of course behind the curtains, of the spread of diseases, the American government then acts as a great Samaritan doling out medicines and 'health care'... it is like trying to tame your own creation.  When would that one time use syringe find its place in India, is something that I look forward to... (I also admit, that there has been a significant shift already in health standards, but the basic issues still remain unanswered).

The most amazing fact that really caught my attention was one of the final frames of the movie which showed his age: just plain 32!  That's two years younger than I am as of today.  To have the brains and the balls to effect a change so intense and significant in spite of such uphills in his own personal life, seems too real to believe and accept.  But true it is. 

7 comments:

  1. Well stated! I, too, enjoyed the film for more than its entertainment value. Afterward, I immediately wanted to research Michael David Weiss - thank you for your post and the photo. :)

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    1. It is interesting to note such courageous people and their daredevilry! They challenge us out of our lethargy of taking things as they are.

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  2. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. The movie was another eye opener for me. I admire the courage of this young man and pray that his demons are now at peace.

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  3. Its amazing how one can become so self involved and powerless to save themself, but at the same time save hundreds of thousands if not millions in the process. I find myself in puzzled with a similar anomaly daily. great movie

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