The documentary film highlights Operation Smile’s historic 1989 medical mission when the President sent the largest group of Americans into Vietnam since the fall of Saigon as part of a MIA/POW initiative to return the remains of soldiers
Operation Smile is proud to announce the world premiere for “A Cure to War: Six Degrees of Humanity,” a documentary film narrated by actor Craig T. Nelson
, known for his title role in TV’s “Coach” and is currently starring on NBC’s “Parenthood.” The film’s screening will be hosted by Veronica Schwartz at the Veronica Malibu Skin & Body Care Center in Malibu, Ca. on September 21
. “A Cure to War” was directed and produced by Patrick Heaphy. Musicians David Palmer, Chuck Kentis and Tinh Mahoney provided an original score.
“A Cure to War” uniquely weaves the stories of seven individuals, whose independent efforts would help to rebuild relations between Vietnam and the United States, recover the remains of soldiers lost in the Vietnam War, and bring smiles to tens of thousands of Vietnamese children and their families by providing access to free surgical healthcare.
In 1989, President Ronald Reagan and General John Vessey sent the largest group of Americans into Vietnam since the fall of Saigon in 1975. They weren’t soldiers, but surgeons. An Operation Smile team of 38 medical professionals — including seven Vietnam War combat veterans — were part of a MIA/POW initiative to return the remains of soldiers lost during the Vietnam War. During the medical mission, they worked with Vietnamese surgeons to provide free reconstructive surgery for more than 100 Vietnamese children who suffered from clefts.
Bridging stories from both present-day Vietnam and historical accounts leading up to Operation Smile’s historic 1989 medical mission, “A Cure to War” reveals the emotional and political roller coaster of how a children's charity and its medical volunteers opened the doors to normalization when so many other efforts had failed. The story is told through first-person accounts with General John W. Vessey and Frederick Downs, Chief Consultant for the Veterans Administration — Prosthetic Service, who worked directly with President Reagan and government officials in both the U.S. and Vietnam to realize this historic effort, and persevered amid hostile opposition and lack of funding. The volunteer surgeons share an emotional trek that allows them to heal the wounds of a previous generation.
At the premiere on September 21, a reception will begin at 7 p.m., followed by the screening at 8 p.m. and question-and-answer session with the filmmaker and film participants at 8:30 p.m. Media are invited to the screening.
For more information about Operation Smile’s global efforts, please visit www.operationsmile.org. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/operationsmile and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/operationsmile.
About Operation Smile (www.operationsmile.org)
Operation Smile, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, is an international children’s medical charity with a presence in more than 60 countries, whose network of more than 5,000 medical volunteers from 76 countries is dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children. Since its founding in 1982, Operation Smile has provided more than 2 million patient evaluations and conducted over 200,000 free surgical procedures for children and young adults born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities, as well as patients suffering from burns. To lay the groundwork for long-term self-sufficiency in developing countries, Operation Smile donates medical equipment, provides year-round medical treatment through Comprehensive Care Centers, and trains local medical professionals in its partner countries so they are empowered to treat their own local communities.