Husson University’s Gracie Theatre to Feature Documentary About Kidney Donation

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The Gracie Theatre at Husson University will screen the documentary film "Perfect Strangers" on April 2, 2015 at 7 p.m. This award-winning documentary raises questions about the motivations that lead to extreme acts of compassion.

The screening is free and open to the public.

The Gracie Theatre at Husson University will screen the documentary film "Perfect Strangers" on April 2 at 7 p.m.

The documentary asks each of us to consider why, if each of us has the power to help another, literally within each one of us, we do not make that happen.

The Gracie Theatre at Husson University will screen the documentary film "Perfect Strangers" on April 2 at 7 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

The film tells the story of Kathy and Ellie, two women whose lives become intertwined as part of a kidney transplant. "Perfect Strangers" chronicles the unexpected challenges each of these women face over the course of four years as they try to make this transplant a reality.

The documentary has been winning awards and galvanizing audiences at film festivals across North America. “The film is about more than organ donations. It causes us to reflect on where each of us resides on the continuum of altruism,” says Jan Krawitz, the director of "Perfect Strangers." “That’s what attracted me to the topic. I want people to leave the film and ask themselves, ‘Is this something I could do? If so, for whom? If not, why not?’” Perfect Strangers takes viewers on a journey of discovery in an effort to explain extreme acts of compassion and the motivations driving Ellie to donate a life-saving organ to Kathy, a “perfect stranger” in need.

“The purpose of our film series is to increase public awareness of difficult issues. Perfect Strangers does all that and more,” said Nico Jenkins, a lecturer in the ethics and philosophy program at Husson University. “The documentary asks each of us to consider why, if each of us has the power to help another, literally within each one of us, we do not make that happen.”

The event will kick-off with an introductory panel discussion with Lynne Bolduc, a local area resident who recently shared one of her organs as part of a “blind” (altruistic) donation. Moira O’Neil, Ph.D., an assistant professor in Husson’s School of Nursing and Cliff Guthrie, Ph.D., an associate professor with expertise in ethics from the university’s School of Science and Humanities, will also participate in the discussion. All three will also be available following the film for questions as well.

The current lack of human organs available for donation makes this documentary especially timely. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an average of 21 people die each day waiting for transplants that cannot take place because of the shortage of donated organs.[1]

Perfect Strangers is part of a documentary film series presented at the Gracie Theatre and hosted by Jenkins as part of an effort to help stimulate awareness and discussion of critical moral and ethical issues. The Gracie Theatre and the ethics program at Husson University are sponsoring the screening. For more information about this event, please contact the box office at The Gracie at 941-7888 or visit GracieTheatre.com.

Completed in October of 2009, The Gracie is Husson University's center for the fine and performing arts. This beautiful new 500-seat theatre is quickly earning a reputation as one of Maine’s premier performance venues. In addition, The Gracie also serves as a learning platform for students from the New England School of Communications in digital audio, sound mixing, set design and construction, lighting, acting and electronics. For more information, visit GracieTheatre.com

For more than 100 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent superior value in higher education. Our Bangor campus and off-campus satellite education centers in Southern Maine, Wells and Northern Maine provide advanced knowledge in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. In addition, Husson University has a robust adult learning program. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit Husson.edu.

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[1] “The Need Is Real: Data”, organdonor.gov: Donate the Gift of Life, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, http://www.organdonor.gov/about/data.html, (Sourced March 10, 2015)

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