Selfless and courageous American doctor featured in documentary at Fisher Theatre
Sedona AZ (May 31, 2018) – The Sedona International Film Festival is proud present a one-night only special premiere of the award-winning new documentary “The Heart of Nuba” on Thursday, June 14 at 4 and 7 p.m. at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre.
One doctor. One hospital. One million patients.
Welcome to the war-torn Nuba Mountains of Sudan, where American doctor Tom Catena selflessly and courageously serves the needs of a forgotten people. The region is bombed relentlessly by an indicted war criminal, Omar Al-Bashir. Two things remain constant in the community: Dr. Tom’s faith and his enduring love for the Nuba people.
Dr. Tom Catena’s patients come to him from hundreds of miles away on foot, in carts, or often cradled in their mother’s arms. These are the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, an area of the world so void of humanitarian and media attention that years of war go ignored and cries for help go largely unheard. Here, this lone American surgeon tends with equal compassion to patients ranging from malnutrition and leprosy, to grave wounds inflicted by the indiscriminate bombings ordered by their own president, Omar al-Bashir. When a government can attack defenseless men, women and children with supersonic bombers and it doesn’t make anyone’s newswire, something is terribly awry.
The only surgeon within 200 miles, ‘Dr. Tom’ does his best to save lives in the midst of carnage and terror, treating as many as 400 patients a day at Mother of Mercy Hospital, nestled in the heart of the Nuba Mountains. The region is the latest target of Omar al-Bashir, a man wanted by the International Criminal Court for committing crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur. Surrounded by a country at war and living under the constant shadow of aerial bombardment, Dr. Tom and his mostly local staff defy Bashir’s ban on humanitarian aid, and work tirelessly to serve the Nuba people. This population of one million Muslims, Christians, Animists and Africans of traditional belief have lived together harmoniously for centuries. Now, together with Dr. Tom Catena, they struggle to survive.
“Everybody’s life is valuable, we can’t lose sight of that, otherwise we lose our humanity,” says Dr. Tom Catena.
“The Heart of Nuba” is directed and produced by Kenneth A. Carlson, who was also Dr. Tom Catena’s classmate and football teammate at Brown University.
“My concern for Dr. Tom endures,” said Carlson. “He works selflessly, twenty-four-seven, treating all conditions, casualties from the conflict to malnutrition. He reminds me that his greatest compensation is the fulfillment and peace that comes from serving others in need. Regardless of the hardship, Dr. Tom is exactly where he wants to be.”
“As inspiring as it gets!” — Frank Scheck, the Hollywood Reporter
“A moving and remarkable story.” — Glenn Kenny, The New York Times
“The Heart of Nuba” will show at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre on Thursday, June 14 at 4 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $12, or $9 for Film Festival members. For tickets and more information, please call 928-282-1177. Both the theatre and film festival office are located at 2030 W. Hwy. 89A, in West Sedona. For more information, visit: www.SedonaFilmFestival.org.