Close Video

Editions Available

Share this title

A film by Matthew Heineman

Runtime: 99 minutes

Closed Captioning not included


Make this film part of your educational program

If you would like to view and purchase EDUCATIONAL STREAMING, please click the button below:

About this film

Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare tackles one of the most pressing issues of our time: how can we save our badly broken healthcare system? American healthcare costs are rising so rapidly that they could reach $4.2 trillion annually, roughly 20% of our gross domestic product, within ten years. We spend $300 billion a year on pharmaceutical drugs—almost as much as the rest of the world combined. We pay more, yet our health outcomes are worse. About 65% of Americans are overweight and almost 75% of healthcare costs are spent on preventable diseases that are the major causes of disability and death in our society.

It's not surprising that healthcare tops many Americans' concerns and is at the center of a political firestorm in our nation's Capitol. But the current battle over cost and access does not ultimately address the root of the problem: we have a disease-care system, not a healthcare system.

Escape Fire examines the powerful forces maintaining the status quo, a medical industry designed for quick fixes rather than prevention, for profit-driven care rather than patient-driven care. After decades of resistance, a movement to bring innovative high-touch, low-cost methods of prevention and healing into our high-tech, costly system is finally gaining ground. This film follows dramatic human stories as well as leaders fighting to transform healthcare at the highest levels of medicine, industry, government, and even the US military. Escape Fire is about finding a way out. It's about saving the health of a nation.




"AN ELUCIDATING MUST SEE! The healthcare debate's An Inconvenient Truth."
—Anthony Kaufman (The Village Voice)


"Likened to a raging forest inferno by the talented nonfiction team of Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke, the American health care system is diagnosed up one side and down the other—will stir the pulses of angry auds."
—Robert Koehler (Variety)


"There are some genuinely harrowing moments, including a hair-raising journey on an Air Force plane transporting wounded soldiers. A SURPRISINGLY THOROUGH, TOUCHING LOOK AT A TOUGH SUBJECT."
—Jada Yuan, Bilge Ebiri (New York Magazine)


"Destined to be hailed as THE DEFINITIVE FILM ON AMERICAN HEALTHCARE, ESCAPE FIRE offers a way out—a primer on how to save the health of a nation."
—David Courier (Sundance Senior Programmer)


"The reaction from the Sundance audience was SPONTANEOUS AND OVERWHELMING APPLAUSE, more like they were watching the next installment of Twilight than a thoughtfully made (yet visually compelling) documentary about America's broken medical establishment."
—David Geffner (ICG Magazine)


"While everyone knows health care is broken, the filmmakers go further, portraying health care itself as an out of control system, one which, if left unfixed, will burn until it consumes everything in its path."
—Tim Wu (Slate)


"Despite the immensity of the topic, the filmmakers offer viewers a clear and determined solutions-oriented approach that clarifies the institutional deficiencies in America's healthcare system and PROVIDES AN INSPIRATIONAL WAY FORWARD."
—Basil Tsiokos (All Things Documentary)


Share this Movie:

Sign up to discuss films, get news & host events!