“Though it addresses difficult issues filled with legal and public health complexities, They Go to Die is ultimately a story of humanity – a celebration of family and the power of relationships.”

As many know, this is an organic film project that col­lected indi­vid­ual responses from stu­dents, researchers, and global health lead­ers. We didn’t start with a com­plete film, rather used short clips in the con­text of a dis­cus­sion to bet­ter iden­tify pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive  com­po­nents. Now, for the fea­ture length the­atri­cal film, we are in the midst of some excit­ing devel­op­ments that will change the story struc­ture, and are cur­rently devel­op­ing a new syn­op­sis of the film. Check back later to find our offi­cial synopsis!

They Go to Die is a doc­u­men­tary film-in-progress inves­ti­gat­ing the life of four for­mer migrant gold minework­ers in South Africa and Swazi­land who have con­tracted drug-resistant tuber­cu­lo­sis (TB) and HIV while work­ing at the gold mine. When the min­ers fail to improve their TB sta­tus at the min­ing hos­pi­tal, they are sent home to rural areas of South Africa often with no con­tin­u­a­tion of care or means for treat­ment. This prac­tice is often referred to as “send­ing them home to die” by lead­ing health officials.

The film raises con­cerns of dis­ease and human rights vio­la­tions uniquely though the con­text of life, love, and fam­ily; unlike tra­di­tional health films, it focuses on rela­tion­ships and bond­ing, not death and dis­ease.  It is a film of unit­ing across cul­tures and paints a por­trait of com­mon humanity.