Distributor:  The Fanlight Collection
Length:  57 minutes
Date:  2001
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: College/Adult/Professional
Color/BW:  Color
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The Angry Heart

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Spotlights the modern epidemic of heart disease in the African-American community

The Angry Heart

African-Americans die from heart disease at rates which are disproportionately higher than those of white Americans. Yet, while it is hard to find an African-American family whose lives have not been touched by heart disease, the American Heart Association reports that many in this community are painfully unaware of the scope of the problem.

The Angry Heart spotlights this modern epidemic through the story of 45-year-old Keith Hartgrove, who has already experienced two heart attacks and quadruple bypass surgery. Together with the experts who are interviewed in this important new documentary, he analyzes the impact of a wide variety of factors including depression, stress, diet, smoking and other lifestyle issues, but makes clear that, for African-Americans, such factors are inseparable from racism, and from the discrimination, poverty, segregation, substandard education, and day-to-day tensions which racism engenders.

Equally important to Hartgrove's story, however, are the powerful family, church and community ties which have supported him through his recovery.

'From leading researchers, the viewer gains an understanding of how racism and discrimination pervade the lives of African-Americans and other minorities in the United States. Heartwarming, compelling and informative, the powerful and moving ending emphasizes the need for films such as this to be included in cultural competence courses for professionals in the fields of healthcare, education, and human services.' -Clifford L. Broman, PhD, Michigan State University for Ethnicity and Disease

'Skillfully breaks the issue of racism into understandable parts and illustrates how they affect the health and health care of African Americans. Like a good novel, it marries facts and emotion to create a connection with the viewer that touches the brain and the heart. Well balanced, with touching narration. It should be required viewing in medical schools and all health sciences educational programs. Highly recommended.' -MC Journal


** Best Documentary, New Hampshire Film Expo
** International Health and Medical Film Competition
** Society of Thorasic Surgeons


Main credits

Fedigan, Jay (film director)
Fedigan, Jay (film producer)
Fedigan, Jay (photographer)
Fedigan, Jay (editor of moving image work)
Hartgrove, Keith (on-screen participant)
Hartgrove, Keith (photographer)

Other credits

Camera, Steve Dahlgren, Jay Fedigan, Keith Hartgrove, Bob Pierce; editor, Jay Fedigan.

Distributor credits

By Jay Fedigan

Docuseek2 subjects

Illness, Disease and Disorders
African-American Studies
Public Health
Heart Disease

Distributor subjects

Chronic Illness / Heart Disease
Cross-Cultural Issues
Fanlight Collection
Health Care Issues
Healthcare History and Policy


film; captioned video; documentary; heart disease; heart attack; bypass surgery; cardiac; american heart association; african american; black; negro; lifestyle issues; discrimination; segregation; cultural awareness; cultural sensitivity; cultural competence; cultural competency; outreach worker; social work; culture; ethnicity; race; racial; health care; healthcare; illness; disease; patient; nurse; nursing; doctor; medicine; physician; hospital; ; "The Angry Heart"; The Fanlight Collection

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