Franklin Graham's relief organization Samaritan's Purse has produced "Facing Darkness," a new documentary recounting the true story of two American aid workers who got infected with the deadly Ebola virus while working in West Africa.
More than 28,000 people in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone had been infected with Ebola and it had taken more than 11,000 lives. The film chronicles the story of Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol who risked their lives to try and prevent the spread of the deadly epidemic.
"Samaritan's Purse workers were holding the last line of defense in a crisis the world was largely ignoring," said Graham in a statement. "Hundreds were dying and it was only growing worse. When the disease struck Dr. Kent Brantly and hygienist Nancy Writebol, we knew we had to get them home for treatment. It was their only chance, yet it was something no one had ever done," he continued.
The film features interviews with people who fought against the outbreak. It was filmed on location in Liberia and the U.S.
The Ebola virus began to spread in March 2014 and it has become a raging epidemic by June. Brantly and Writebol got infected while they were fighting against the spread of the virus at the ELWA Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. A team from Samaritan's Purse persevered to bring Brantly and Writebol back to the U.S. to be treated and cured.
Apart from the story of the patients' evacuation and treatment, the film also reveals an inspiring story of faith overcoming fear.
"Faith is not something that makes you safe," Brantly said. "You had to face death in the eye and decide, 'Who am I going to be today?'" he added
Due to their distrust of any authority, the Liberians blamed the aid workers for the spread of the virus and attacked the hospitals and people. The Samaritan's Purse team stayed despite the threats to their safety.
A massive public health education program helped to stop the spread of the virus. Liberia was declared Ebola-free after a year.
"Facing Darkness" premieres at the Heartland Film Festival. The film has already won the Award of Excellence from the Accolade Global Film Competition. It will be shown in select theaters across the U.S. on March 30, 2017 for one night only.