July 31, 2008

TennCare in Trouble

A year ago we released Collateral Damage, a film that exposes the inhumane outcome of bottom dollar health care politics. The film tracks the story of how Governor Phil Bredesen opted to reel in his state's Medicaid budget by pushing 170,000 people out of the program. It turns out that was only the beginning of the story. TennCare has been under siege ever since. Yesterday we received an email from Michele Johnson, the managing attorney of the Tennessee Justice Center, a non-profit law firm that advocates on behalf of poor Tennesseans. She writes:

"We are feeling a little dé jà vu in TN as the state cuts home health/private duty nursing for about 1,000 medically fragile or vent dependent patients. If they need more than 42 hours a week of care, you lose it. The HMOs are telling patients to go to nursing homes, which of course, cannot meet their need and may or may not even accept them. The Bush administration said it was OK, so our legal hooks are few. No surprise we are having a heck of a time getting the media to cover this."

We're asking anyone and everyone we know to raise awareness to the plight of TennCare enrollees, and let Gov. Bredesen know that he can't balance his state's budget on the backs of the sickly and less fortunate.

July 23, 2008

XM Radio Host Interviews Ed Kashi on THE SANDWICH GENERATION

The 77-million Americans taking care of their children and aging parents are not only a growing segment of the nation's population, but they are also becoming a popular topic of conversation....

Last month, seasoned New York Times reporter Jane Gross featured our film The Sandwich Generation on her blog The New Old Age, NYT science editor David Corcoran discussed the film with Gross on his weekly Science Times Podcast, and now Lisa Belkin, host of the XM 155 Radio show Life's Work with Lisa Belkin, interviewed Ed Kashi on the film and his personal 'sandwich generation' experience. Read an excerpt from the interview below and click on the following link to hear the full interview.

"One of the things that kills me in our society is that somehow we're not supposed to honor our elders. I think in this fast paced, youth oriented society we're in, we lose sight of the fact that, not only is it detrimental for them, but eventually we want to be in that place, and it sure would be nice to be respected when we reach that place in our lives."
- Ed Kashi, excerpt from the interview with Lisa Belkin

July 14, 2008

AlterNet reports on Nigeria and CURSE OF THE BLACK GOLD

Did you know that the ongoing conflict in Nigeria's Niger Delta region can affect how much you pay at the pump? Nigeria is Africa's leading producer of petroleum and the world's sixth largest oil producer. This means that any time there is an oil spill or a militant attack in the Niger Delta, the world's gas consumers also feel the impact.

To learn more, check out Alternet.org's article "Africa: The Next Victim in Our Quest for Cheap Oil." The article includes an interview with Michael Watts (UC Berkeley Director of African Studies and editor of Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta) and also features our short-film Curse of the Black Gold.

July 10, 2008

New York Times posts Part 2 of THE SANDWICH GENERATION

We previously announced that New York Times reporter Jane Gross posted the first part to our film The Sandwich Generation on her blog The New Old Age....

Now you can also find Part 2 of The Sandwich Generation on the blog as well! In her July 10 blog post "After Herbie, Another Kind of Home," Gross discusses the difficulties Julie and Ed faced a year into taking care of Julie's aging father, Herbie. Click on the link below to read the posting, watch the film's second installment, and scroll through people's comments and responses.

The New Old Age, July 10 blog posting, "After Herbie, Another Kind of Home"

And in case you missed Jane Gross' first posting on The Sandwich Generation......

The New Old Age, July 1 blog posting, "Coming Home for Herbie"

July 9, 2008

THE SANDWICH GENERATION featured on this week's Science Times Podcast

This week on The New York Times' Science Times Podcast, science editor David Corcoran interviews NYT reporter Jane Gross on her blog The New Old Age . Click below to listen to the full podcast and to hear the reporters' discussion of our film The Sandwich Generation (also featured on Jane Gross' blog).

July 3, 2008

Healthcare Access Expands in the E.U.

The New York Times reported today that, if a long-awaited proposal published on Wednesday becomes law, people living within the European Union will be able to receive most health care treatment ANYWHERE in the 27-nation bloc without getting prior authorization. If approved, the measures would apply to all residents in the EU and could be put into effect as soon as 2010. Currently, European citizens can be reimbursed for urgent treatment anywhere in the union, providing they contribute to a health insurance program at home.

Click here to read the New York Times story:

Journey to Rochester

On June 26, Ed (Kashi), Julie (Winokur), and their children, trekked 9 hours by car to Rochester, New York to attend the opening reception for an exhibit of Ed’s ground-breaking photos from the Niger Delta at the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY. Also on view is a 12-minute award-winning multi-media companion video produced by Julie and MediaStorm.

The powerful exhibition – CURSE OF THE BLACK GOLD: 50 YEARS OF OIL IN THE NIGER DELTA - features 37 graphic photos from Ed’s many sojourns to the oil-rich area. The pictures depict the decimation of the land and its people wrought by the confluence of irresponsible governance and oil extraction practices and deepening poverty.

This year Julie’s provocative multi-media piece won First Place Multimedia at the New York Photo Festival Awards. The video brings Ed’s photos to life and includes the voices of local environmentalists, activists and citizens – who describe the impact of the Nigerian oil industry in personal terms.

The photos in the exhibit are culled from Ed’s award-winning tome, CURSE OF THE BLACK GOLD: 50 YEARS OF OIL IN THE NIGER DELTA (powerHouse). The photos and multimedia video will be on view at the George Eastman House through September 1, 2008.

To view a trailer of the multimedia piece:

For more information and to purchase a copy of the book:

For more info on the exhibit:

July 2, 2008

Two Hospitals, Two Coasts, One BIG Problem--Women Left to Die on Hospital Floors!

The number of uninsured Americans isn't the only healthcare problem on the rise....apparently, American hospitals' indifference to dying patients is growing as well!

The former Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital in Los Angeles made headlines in May 2007 when hospital staffers walked past Edith Isabel Rodriguez writhing on the ER floor for 45 minutes. Even a janitor ignored Rodriguez as he mopped around her! Now, in the same week that security camera excerpts of Rodriguez's death were leaked to the public, ANOTHER similar surveillance tape was released showing a woman collapsing and writing on the floor of the Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York! Esmin Green had been waiting in the hospital's psychiatric ER for almost 24 hours when she fell from her seat June 19. Other waiting-room patients not only sat idly by while Green laid there but hospital staffers and a security guard also ignored her. It took an hour and three minutes for a hospital staffer to go up to Green....and only after the staffer was alerted by a person in the waiting room.

Though these are only two cases out of thousands, isn't two cases TWO CASES too many? If we have the world's best medical technology, shouldn't we have the best medics to staff it?

Need to see it to believe it? Check out the New York Times' story featuring the surveillance video of Esmin Green's experience at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn.

Access Healthcare San Francisco AHIP Protest

Over the past five years, Talking Eyes Media has worked tirelessly on a project about America's uninsured. As we continue working on this piece, we will keep you abreast on the most recent and prevalent news dealing with this topic. We hope you will contribute any healthcare news we have not posted as well as your own thoughts or opinions. Here's a healthcare update to get us on our way....

On Saturday, June 19, 2008, Americans across the United States demonstrated in favor of a guaranteed, single-payer healthcare and in protest of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the national association representing insurance companies. Watch the California Nurses Association's video from its recent protest at AHIP's annual convention in San Francisco! Special guests include Colombo's, SiCKO's Donna Smith and more!

July 1, 2008

After a long blink, our eyes are open and ready for some talking!

Since our last blog, Talking Eyes Media has been quite busy with lots of projects. But after taking a long 'blink' in our posts, TEM's eyes are now wide-open to blogging and are ready for some talking!

Firstly, we're proud to announce that our latest film, "The Sandwich Generation," is now available on DVD! (Click here to order a copy: http://www.talkingeyesmedia.org/purchase.php) In this emotionally charged account of family caregiving, TEM filmmaker Julie Winokur and her husband, photojournalist Ed Kashi, reveal their personal account of raising two young children while caring for Julie's aging father, Herbie. At 83, Herbie suffers from dementia and is unable to live alone. Unfortunately however, Julie and Ed's experience with an aging parent is far from rare. Like 20-million other Americans, Julie and Ed are part of "The Sandwich Generation"--those babyboomers caught between their aging parents and young children.

In her new blog titled "The New Old Age," New York Times reporter Jane Gross explores this unprecedented "Sandwich Generation" and its challenges. As Gross mentions on her blog, adults over age 80 are the fastest growing population and most will spend years dependent on others....in other words, this is a problem that will not be going away.

I invite you all to visit Jane Gross' blog "The New Old Age" and read the article "Coming Home for Herbie"--a two-part article series on TEM's film "The Sandwich Generation." Would you make the same sacrifice Julie and Ed made? What would you want your own children to do?