African-Americans die from heart disease at rates which are disproportionately higher than those of white Americans. Yet, while it is hard to find an African-American family whose lives have not been touched by heart disease, the American Heart Association reports that many in this community are painfully unaware of the scope of the problem.
The Angry Heart spotlights this modern epidemic through the story of 45-year-old Keith Hartgrove, who has already experienced two heart attacks and quadruple bypass surgery. Together with the experts who are interviewed in this important new documentary, he analyzes the impact of a wide variety of factors including depression, stress, diet, smoking and other lifestyle issues, but makes clear that, for African-Americans, such factors are inseparable from racism, and from the discrimination, poverty, segregation, substandard education, and day-to-day tensions which racism engenders.
Equally important to Hartgrove's story, however, are the powerful family, church and community ties which have supported him through his recovery.
"From leading researchers, the viewer gains an understanding of how racism and discrimination pervade the lives of African-Americans and other minorities in the United States. Heartwarming, compelling and informative, the powerful and moving ending emphasizes the need for films such as this to be included in cultural competence courses for professionals in the fields of healthcare, education, and human services." —Clifford L. Broman, PhD, Michigan State University for Ethnicity and Disease
Best Documentary, New Hampshire Film Expo
International Health and Medical Film Competition
Society of Thorasic Surgeons
"Skillfully breaks the issue of racism into understandable parts and illustrates how they affect the health and health care of African Americans. Like a good novel, it marries facts and emotion to create a connection with the viewer that touches the brain and the heart. Well balanced, with touching narration. It should be required viewing in medical schools and all health sciences educational programs. Highly recommended." —MC Journal