Press release on behalf of Keep Our NHS Public and Pam K Productions (23 September 2019)
Powerful film Under the Knife cuts to core of NHS crisis. Free national screenings from October 14-18th
Pam K Productions, in partnership with Keep Our NHS Public and the Daily Mirror, are hosting a free week-long festival of Screenings around the country. Under the Knife will be screened in over 50 UK venues including London, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Liverpool, and Brighton.
This Investigative film tells the story of how Britain’s publicly funded national healthcare system has been systematically dismantled and undermined. From its stormy birth, through seven decades of turmoil and political warfare, it has withstood almost everything that has confronted it – until now. Narrated by award-winning actress Alison Steadman, and endorsed by film director Ken Loach, Under the Knife is a 90-minute documentary that tells the story of how the NHS arrived at its present-day crisis. Using interviews and archive footage, the film charts the history of the NHS, from when it arose out of the ashes of post-war Britain to today.
Film director Ken Loach says:
“Films, like words, can be weapons. This film is a weapon in our struggle to save the NHS. There should be details of the film in every hospital reception, every GP’s waiting room, every community centre.”
Under the Knife‘s producer Pam Kleinot says:
“I worked in the NHS for many years as a psychotherapist and was inspired to make this film after experiencing the surveillance, targets for staff and uncertainty that resulted from funding increasingly being cut. After a successful crowdfunding campaign and branch donations from UNITE, UNISON and TUC, we are taking the film into hospitals, universities and to a cinema near you.”
In Under the Knife, Emmy award-winning director Susan Steinberg and producer Pamela Kleinot uncover the covert, creeping privatisation of the NHS in the past three decades, culminating in the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, which opened the floodgates to private companies.
Director Susan Steinberg says:
“Like many people, I wanted to understand how we got into the mess we are in today and what we can do about it. Focusing on the NHS, the institution that has been called our national religion, Under the Knife tells that story. It’s vital to understand the problems and solutions to an institution that has reached breaking point…. an institution that is fundamental to our democracy.” <
The film illustrates how communities, health care professionals and campaigners have successfully fought to defend hospitals and services threatened with closure through the courts, in council chambers and on the streets. In March this year, Keep Our NHS Public campaigners saved Ealing and Charing Cross hospitals after seven years of struggle. They have followed in the footsteps of the people of Lewisham who also won against the government. The battle rages on as hospitals and GP surgeries around the country close or are at serious risk, while private companies are creeping into the system, most noticeably in mental health.
Dr Tony O’Sullivan, retired paediatrician and Co-Chair of Keep Our NHS Public, added:
“This is the best film around on the NHS. Under the Knife shows the vital importance of the NHS to society and exposes the dark threats facing it. But most important of all, the film gives hope to those who are campaigning to keep the NHS safe for our children. You just have to see it.”
Aneira Thomas, the first NHS baby said:
“I am the first NHS baby, born at one minute past midnight on the 5th of July 1948, into our national treasure and our proudest achievement; the National Health Service. From my very first breath, and no doubt to my very last the NHS is central to who I am, the preservation of it for future generations is vital. We were left a legacy by Aneurin Bevan, and together we will not let it slip away. The NHS represents morality, conscience, and equality. Under the Knife shows how it must be rescued from being privatised at all costs. The difference between a neglected and privatised service, and good sustainable health care really is life or death.”
Importantly, the documentary has been informed by ordinary people working in the NHS who recognise the urgent need for change. More than 60 people have been interviewed for the film, including front-line doctors, nurses, patients, Dr Phil Hammond, Tony Blair, John McDonnell, George Monbiot, Lord Owen, Gina Miller, Michael Mansfield QC, and Dr Lauren Gavaghan.
Spokespeople are available for broadcast interview.
For general press enquiries please contact Samantha Wathen on 07776047472 or email press@keepournhspublic.