Groundbreaking Documentary Feature Film DEFINING HOPE to Debut 4/1 On PBS
The ground-breaking new documentary feature film DEFINING HOPE (www.hope.film) from director Carolyn Jones (THE AMERICAN NURSE) follows eight patients with life-threatening illness, and the nurses who guide them to make critical choices along the way as they face death, embrace hope, and ultimately redefine what makes life worth living.
"Defining Hope is a documentary that has evolved over the course of my career," says director Carolyn Jones. "It's a journey with nurses and their patients that speaks to the universality of death and leads us to a place of knowledge and power as we recognize that we have agency over the way that we die. To know what we want at the end of life, we have to figure out what makes life worth living."
Produced by Carolyn Jones Productions, the award-winning team behind The American Nurse Project, Defining Hope is presented and distributed nationally by American Public Television (APT), and is slated for release nationwide on public television stations beginning April 1, 2018 (check local listings).
Defining Hope asks essential questions about dying in America and begins a national discourse on the definition of the phrase "quality of life," and with it, questions about the "quality of death" - when, where, with whom and with what degree of comfort.
The film follows a group of patients who have received life-threatening diagnoses and the nurses, like Diane Ryan, who guide them on their health care journeys. Ryan, a staff nurse at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx, New York, works with end-stage cancer patients and advanced Alzheimer's patients receiving hospice or palliative care. She is featured throughout the documentary and offers the perspective of both patient (she receives troubling news about her recovery from ovarian cancer) and nurse.
The patients and caregivers allow viewers into their homes and hospital rooms as they open up in emotional interviews about what they hope for from life, and how that hope evolves when life is threatened.
In October 2017, Defining Hope premiered at the Heartland Film Festival, where it was awarded the prize for Best Premiere - Documentary Feature. It also screened in limited theatrical release across the United States.
Defining Hope is optimistic and reminds us that we have choices. It's a film that jump-starts these critical conversations and helps people define what makes life worth living.ABOUT THE FILM
DEFINING HOPE is a documentary that weaves the stories of patients with life-threatening illness, and the nurses who guide them as they make choices about how they want to live, how much medical technology they can accept, what they hope for and how that hope evolves. It is about optimism and helps us define what 'quality of life' really means.
The film focuses on palliative care, end of life issues, and hospice care. It offers a hopeful message about bringing power back to the patient and helping people understand that they have choices when deciding on care when confronting life threatening illness.
DEFINING HOPE explores what makes life worth living and what to do for ourselves and our loved ones as we get closer to the end of life. Through the stories of patients, families, nurses, and healthcare professionals, the conversation around quality end-of-life care is brought to the forefront.
ABOUT THE FILM SUBJECTS
DEFINING HOPE follows these three patients, and others, as they face death, embrace hope, and ultimately redefine what makes life worth living:
Diane is a nurse caring for end-stage cancer patients who is confronted with her own complex diagnosis.
23-year-old Alena undergoes a risky brain surgery that has the potential to damage her short-term memory.
95-year-old Berthold lives with his elderly wife who struggles to honor his wish of dying peacefully at home.