The screening was a huge success. So many people were there, and they were so riveted by the film, dubbed beautifully into Kinyarwanda. People in the village gave testimonials after seeing it. Her father spoke, as did Angelique. Angie’s grandmother was weeping so hard, but she said it was tears of joy.
Open Heart, directed by Kief Davidson and produced by Cori Shepherd Stern was nominated for an Oscar in 2013 for Best Documentary Short Subject.
The film is the story of eight Rwandan children who leave their families behind and embark on a life-or-death journey to receive high-risk open-heart surgery in Africa’s only free-of-charge, state-of-the-art cardiac hospital, our Salam Center. Their heart valves, damaged and weakened by rheumatic heart disease, which develops from untreated childhood strep throat, left them lethargic and weak. Some of the children had only months to live.
Recently Cori took the film to be screened in one of the eight children hometown in Rwanda. After seeing her again after these few years, Angie looked so healthy and vibrant, and according to Cori “smiled SOOO big when Gino, Gina, and Rossella came on screen. She loves you all very clearly.”
One woman said that “Even if my house had been completely robbed while I was gone to see the film, it would have been worth it!”
Cori states that this was the “BEST film review ever!”
If you would like to support life-saving cardiac surgery for more children like Angie, please click here to donate now.