NYWIFT Member Screening: Power to Heal

Join us for this month’s virtual NYWIFT Member Screening of the documentary feature Power to Heal: Medicare and the Civil Rights Revolution, produced by NYWIFT member Roberta Friedman. Power to Heal is the untold story of how the twin struggles for racial justice and healthcare intersected: creating Medicare and desegregating thousands of hospitals at the same time.

Watch the film: Any time Thursday, October 1st at 3 PM through Monday, October 5th at 10 PM

Join the Q&A: Monday, October 5th at 5 PM

The film will be available to all who register to view via an exclusive link at any time throughout the weekend of October 1st. Then, join us for a special Q&A with the producers on Zoom.

Please register in advance in order to receive the links.

The NYWIFT Member Screening Series provides members with the opportunity to show their work in a theatrical setting (or in this case, a virtual theatrical setting). We hope you will join us in celebrating the work of our talented NYWIFT members!



Please note: if you would like to bring a guest, the guest must be registered separately with a separate email address. Links to view the films are individually crafted for each registered email. 

About the Film

Power to Heal: Medicare and the Civil Rights Revolution
Directed by Charles Burnett & Daniel Loewenthal
Produced by Barbara Berney, Roberta Friedman (NYWIFT Member), Daniel
Narrated by Danny Glover
2018, 56 min

Power to Heal tells a poignant chapter in the historic struggle to secure equal and adequate access to healthcare for all Americans. Central to the story is the tale of how a new national program, Medicare, was used to mount a dramatic, coordinated effort that desegregated thousands of hospitals across the country practically overnight.

Before Medicare, disparities in access to hospital care were dramatic. Less than half the nation’s hospitals served Black and white patients equally, and in the South, 1/3 of hospitals would not admit African-Americans even for emergencies.

Using the carrot of Medicare dollars, the federal government virtually ended the practice of racially segregating patients, doctors, medical staffs, blood supplies and linens. Power to Heal illustrates how Movement leaders and grass-roots volunteers pressed and worked with the federal government to achieve a greater measure of justice and fairness for African-Americans.


Roberta Friedman (Producer) is a filmmaker and video artist who has had a wide and varied media career. Her projects have ranged from the commercial, such as her work for George Lucas on Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back specializing in sparks, matte work, and swords, to the experimental, such as her interactive video The Erl King, the first interactive art piece, (made in collaboration with Grahame Weinbren) which was acquired by the Guggenheim Museum for its permanent collection. Roberta’s work spans a large assortment of film and video productions, and collaborations with New Music musicians and composers, which have been presented extensively in the United States and Europe, at venues including The Guggenheim Museum, The Whitney, MOMA, and the Pompidou Centre among others, and have won awards. Her experimental films have been selected to be preserved by the American Academy of Film in Los Angeles. 

Daniel Loewenthal (Co-Director, Producer, Editor) began his career as a feature film editor working in New York and later in Hollywood; eventually, cutting over 45 films for studios including Paramount, Orion, and Turner Productions, along with independent producers such as Dino De Laurentiis and Cannon films. Many of the pictures Loewenthal edited (often directing second unit as well) had major box office success.  Several films premiered at Sundance, the Palm Springs and the Cannes Film Festival. His credits include Stephen King’s Silver Bullet, Murphy Law, Across the Moon, Friday the 13th Part IV, Cadillac Ranch, Red Scorpion, Missing in Action, The Cutting Edge, Voices in Wartime, The Music in You and many others. In recent years he produced and edited the feature film, Good Friday, edited Lost Cat Corona, a dramatic short, Ice, which premiered at the Tribeca Festival. This year he received a TELLY award for producing Purple Reign, a basketball documentary shown on NBC, Loewenthal has worked in almost every genre and format:  action, comedy, independent films, music videos, commercials, infomercials, corporate videos, video pieces for museum art installations and content for the web. He is currently on the faculty of Montclair State University and divides his time between teaching and freelance filmmaking.

NYWIFT Board Member Kuye Youngblood (Moderator) is an Emmy award-winning producer with experience in scripted and documentary series. She is currently the Head of Development & Production at BRIC TV. Her responsibilities include creative development of new series including The Great Pretender with filmmaker Nathan Silver (Tribeca) and managing a team of dynamic media makers. Her EP work screened at Tribeca Film, Sundance, New Voices in Black Cinema, Hot Docs, ABFF, and Bentonville. Original series include The Show about the ShowBrooklynificationDinette, and All Hail Beth. She’s a Speaker at SXSW and SeriesFest and a producer/moderator for IFP panels. She was also series producer for Neighborhood Beat, a show about her hometown Brooklyn!


Power to Heal is provided courtesy of:


The NYWIFT Member Screening Series is Produced by Katie Chambers


Special thanks to Carlina Rivera and the New York City 2nd Council District
for discretionary funding for the NYWIFT Member Screening Series.

And thanks to Tito’s Handmade Vodka, the Signature Vodka of NYWIFT

A contingent of medical workers, doctors, nurses, and others march on the National Mall under the banner of the Medical Committee for Civil Rights (MCCR) in 1963

October 1 @ 3:50pm — October 5 @ 5:00pm
3:50 pm — 5:00 pm (97h 10′)

This program will take place virtually as a webinar via Zoom. Please register in advance, and all registrants will receive a link to attend the webinar the day of the event.

We encourage you to download Zoom in advance.

Free event.



Join the conversation on social media:
#nywift | @nywift

NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.