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Reel to REAL: Dr. Feelgood

Dr. Feelgood: Dealer or Healer? 

2016 | TV 14 | 1 hr. 20 min.

Atkins Auditorium

Engage in this film-and-dialogue series featuring movies and documentaries that spotlight challenging issues such as race, sexuality, economics, poverty and culture. Each screening is followed by a conversation between film scholars, subject experts and you!

March’s theme compares and contrasts the effects and aftermath of the 1980’s War on Drugs—poignantly captured in Eugene Richards’ photographs–with today’s opioid and prescription drug crisis.

Dealer or Healer? Dr. William Hurwitz, a Virginia physician, served nearly five years in prison for drug trafficking after prescribing powerful opiate painkillers to his devoted patients. Unlike the courts, filmmaker Eve Marson refuses to take a clear position on the case — hence the enticing question mark in the title.

Marson presents both sides of the story via interviews with several of Hurwitz’s former patients who praise him; medical, legal and law enforcement experts who describe his behavior as unethical and illegal; and Hurwitz himself, who insists that he’s “led a moral life and done good in the world.”

To discuss the effects of the growing opioid epidemic will be Dr. Michael Moncure, MD, FACS, and UMKC Professor of Surgery; and Brian Hearn, curator and arts writer, KC Studio.