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What's natural is the microbe. All the rest ... is a product of the human will, of a vigilance that must never falter. -- Albert Camus

When scientists in the mid-20th century developed the means to mass-produce antibiotics it was hailed as a medical miracle. Only now are we realizing the potentially catastrophic implications of this innovation. The question is: have we reached a point where we must save antibiotics in order to save ourselves?

RESISTANCE is a documentary film that sets out to answer this question and in so doing reveals the past, present and possible future(s) of one of the greatest health threats humanity has ever faced

Our film is predicated on a belief that antibiotics are a unique public resource that we must sensibly manage and protect as if our lives depended on it ... because they do.  From our perspective, cooperation among as many stakeholders as possible is essential to the proper management and protection of these precious drugs and with that in mind, as you'll see below, we've gone to great lengths to include an array of perspectives in the film. Indeed, an overarching goal of this Kickstarter campaign is to add your voice and support to this vital cause!

The film uses a blend of interviews, archival material, animation, and verite footage - shot in the US and abroad and features the personal stories of ordinary men and women whose lives have been impacted by antibiotic resistance.

Personal stories include (but are not limited to):

  • Jessie, a 15-year-old from Kentucky who developed a resistant infection in his leg and ended up in the hospital for more than 100 days and on life support for more than 30.

  • Kai a Danish hog farmer who despite simple methods is on the cutting edge of global production

  • Everly, a mother and public health expert in Chicago whose infant son woke up with a fever one night and was dead 48-hours later from an antibiotic-resistant blood infection. She has transformed her grief into action and advocacy for new science to battle these infections.

We spend time with these people and capture the setbacks, heartaches, laughter and moments of grace that accompany their struggles. While their stories offer insight into the all too common human toll of antibiotic resistance, a selection of experts help situate their experiences within a broader historical, political, and economic context.

Expert insights include (but are not limited to):

  • Frank M. Aarestrup, PhD – Professor and Head EU Reference Laboratory for Antimicrobial Resistance; WHO Collaborating Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance in Foodborne Pathogens; National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark
  • Dr. Ed Cox – director for the Office of Antimicrobial Products, US Food and Drug Administration
  • Dr. Cecilia di Pentima – Vanderbilt University, Assoc Professor of Pediatrics, Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Clinical Services, and Director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at Monroe Carrel, Jr. Children's Hospital
  • Jonathan A. Eisen, PhD – The University of California, Davis Dept of Evolution and Ecology and the Dept of Medical Microbiology
  • Dan Glickman – Member of the US House of Representatives for 18 years and US Secretary of Agriculture for the Clinton administration
  • Temple Grandin, PhD – Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, bestselling author, autism activist, and animal welfare and behavior expert.
  • Ramanan Laxminarayan, PhD – Director and Senior Fellow, Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy; Research Scholar and Lecturer, Princeton Environmental Institute

  • Dr. Stuart Levy – Center for Adaptation Genetics and Drug Resistance, Tufts University School of Medicine

  • Maryn McKenna - Journalist / Author of the book and the WIRED blog “Superbug"

  • Lance Price, PhD – George Washington University; Translational Genomics Research Institute
  • Dr. John Rex – Infection Clinical Vice President, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals

  • Dr. Joshua Sharfstein - Maryland secretary of health and mental hygiene and former principal deputy commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration
  • Rep. Louise Slaughter – (D-NY) Congresswoman Slaughter is the only trained microbiologist in the US Congress and has been extremely outspoken on the problem of antimicrobial resistance.

  • Dr. Brad Spellberg – David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Division of Infectious Diseases, Dept of Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center

  • Dr. Arjun Srinivasan – Associate Director for Healthcare Associated Infection Prevention Programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Animation and artistic set pieces (featuring the work of artists Luke Jerram, Klari Reis, and Peter Krsko) help weave the film into a broader historical narrative that touches on politics, public health, economics, war, government policy and international relations.

Finally, we ask each of the film’s subjects to look forward, to suggest how we can best meet this crisis and what practical steps we can take individually and as a society to insure that health and well being do not take a giant leap backward. We also use our access to these experts to glean practical information about what we, as individuals, can do to protect ourselves and our families from these infections.  Toward that end we touch on :

  • Probiotics
  • Hygiene
  • What you should know about taking antibiotics
  • And more ...

Our goal in all cases is to convey the issues in a way that fosters informed discussion while allowing viewers to form their own opinions.  We're so close to being able to finish the film, and the funds raised here will give us the final boost we need!!!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Making any film is fraught with potential pitfalls, even more so with independent films. If we meet our funding goal we foresee no reasons this film won't be completed on schedule, but ... things can happen (e.g. equipment failure, illness, other emergencies, etc.). There is always the possibility of disruption and delay. We're using lessons we've learned making our other successful films to mitigate any possible derailments, but they are nevertheless possible. We appreciate Kickstarter for bracketing out a special section on this page for us to articulate that fact.

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    A DVD copy of RESISTANCE + a DVD copy of our previous documentary about the history and politics of school lunch LUNCH LINE ( lunchlinefilm.com )

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    Everything in the $50 combo + two VIP tickets to a screening of Resistance in or near your city

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    ***NEW REWARD*** Curious to know what kinds of microbes live in your gut? (there are trillions!) if you back us at this level you can find out! Get everything in the $100 + 1 GI MICROBIOME kit from uBiome - the world’s first effort to map the human microbiome with citizen science. With the GI Microbiome kit uBiome will analyze a sample of your gut microbiome and send you the results so you can see what microbes are in your gut, how your personal microbiome correlates with others, and how it correlates with actions you take. Contribute to science and the fight against Resistance at the same time! For more info visit http://ubiome.com/

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    Everything in the $100 combo + an original signed 12x18in print by artist and biophysicist Peter Krsko = www.albuscav.us/krsko/artprojects.html

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    ***NEW REWARD*** Curious to know what kinds of microbes live in and on you? (there are about 100 trillion) if you back us at this level you can find out! Get everything in the $100 combo + uBiome kits for : GUT, MOUTH, SKIN, NOSE, and GENITAL microbiomes from uBiome - the world’s first effort to map the human microbiome with citizen science. With these kits uBiome will analyze the microbiome of each of the aforementioned areas and send you the results so you can see what microbes live on and inside you, how your personal microbiome correlates with others, and how it correlates with actions you take. Contribute to science and the fight against Resistance at the same time! For more info visit http://ubiome.com/

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    Everything in the $100 combo + a beautiful original microbiologically-inspired work of art from San Francisco-based artist Klari Reis = www.klarireis.com/ Klari creates her artwork inside large petri dishes by manipulating special materials according to a her own unique process. The San Francisco chronicle describes Klari's work as "a high gloss organic surprise: some come out looking like galactic explosions, others evoke cells seen through a microscope, others embryos, sea coral or the inside of an orchid." We call them astounding. And one of only three made specially for RESISTANCE could be yours!

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    Everything in the $100 combo + an original glass sculpture from British artist Luke Jerram's Untitled Future Mutation series = www.lukejerram.com/glass/gallery/untitled-future-mutation The NY Times called Jerram's microbiologically inspired sculptures, "intricate and elegant three-dimensional representations" that "play elegantly with color and light and offer beauty to an otherwise vilified subject matter." We agree, which is why we featured his work in our Kickstarter video. Back our project at this level and one of Luke's revelatory pieces will be yours!

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    Everything in the $100 combo + an original, custom mural hand-painted by DC-based artist Peter Krsko. Peter will travel to you and work with you to realize your vision for the mural. (US locations only | maximum mural size = 8ftx12ft) see a sample of Peter's beautiful mural work here: peterkrsko.com/art/ The BBC called the inspiring mural work that Peter Executive Directs through the artist collective Albus Cavus, "vivid and eye-catching." Peter's work with Albus Cavus, and on his own, is truly captivating and inspiring. And if you can back our project at this level you could have your very own custom-painted mural from Peter while supporting a good cause in the process. Everyone wins!

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