“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.