Convergence: Courage in a Crisis Parent Guide
This documentary has scenes of covid-related suffering but they are balanced by stories of courage, self-sacrifice and simple kindness.
Parent Movie Review
A few months into the coronavirus pandemic, I took a break from the news. I’m a dedicated follower of current events, but I reached a point where I couldn’t handle more stories of isolation, suffering, and death. If you’re afraid to watch Convergence: Courage in a Crisis for that reason, don’t worry. This documentary has plenty of scenes of covid-related suffering, but it also paints a moving picture of individual acts of courage, self-sacrifice, and simple kindness.
Convergence has an ambitious goal – to explore the covid-19 pandemic from a global perspective. To that end, it follows doctors in Miami and Peru, an ambulance volunteer in Brazil, a hospital janitor in London, a young couple in Iran, a pregnant woman in India, a volunteer driver in Wuhan, staff in the World Health Organization, and an administrator in Oxford University’s vaccine development program. This broad scope is both the movie’s strength and its weakness. It succeeds in giving a sense of the worldwide suffering caused by the virus, but the movie’s frequent changes of scene can make it difficult to fully immerse yourself in any of the storylines.
This is unfortunate because the subject’s stories are powerfully moving. In London, we meet Hassan, a Syrian refugee who normally works as a documentary filmmaker. With exploding case numbers putting the healthcare system under strain, Hassan decides to get a job cleaning hospitals. This is all the more heroic when his backstory emerges, explaining his well-earned fear of medical facilities. In Brazil, an ex-convict named Renata volunteers her time to a local ambulance service. She helps the drivers navigate the twisting lanes of the favelas (slums) and extends a deep compassion to those struggling to survive amidst desperate need. Also touching are the stories of the two doctors. Dr. Armen Henderson practices medicine in Miami but spends much of his time off reaching out to the homeless. In Peru, Dr. Rosa Luis Lopez does her very best to maximize her hospital’s scanty resources to care for her critically ill patients. Both doctors are piercing in their criticism of the challenges of poverty and the way inequality amplifies the coronavirus’s devastating power.
This inspirational film comes with little negative content aside from some profanity; specifically the five sexual expletives that earned the doc its Restricted rating. There is some upsetting content relating to deaths from covid, but there is little graphic medical footage and dead bodies are covered. Despite the profanity, this is a good choice for teens and can be shown in high school classrooms or at home.
Convergence can be hard to watch but it’s also rewarding. It’s easy to become cynical amidst the flood of bad news stories and increasingly polarized social media posts spun to increase anger and despair. But this documentary reminds us of the wonders of human courage, ingenuity, and community. One of the volunteers in Oxford’s vaccine trials wears a t-shirt that says “In a world where you can be anything – be kind.” Even in a world turned upside down by a pandemic, kindness might just be what saves us all.Directed by Orlando von Einsiedel, Hassan Akkad, Lieven Corthouts. Running time: 113 minutes. Theatrical release October 12, 2021. Updated October 12, 2021
Watch the trailer for Convergence: Courage in a Crisis
Convergence: Courage in a Crisis
Rating & Content Info
Why is Convergence: Courage in a Crisis rated R? Convergence: Courage in a Crisis is rated R by the MPAA For some language.
Violence: There are frequent scenes of dead bodies wrapped in sheets or zipped up in body bags. Death from disease is frequently mentioned. Mass cremations are seen in India. A man talks about an experience of being tortured. A man’s head wound is briefly seen.
Sexual Content: None noticed.
Profanity: There are five sexual expletives and two scatological terms used in the film.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults toast the new year but aren’t shown drinking. A person wears a t-shirt with a stylized picture of a marijuana leaf.
Page last updated October 12, 2021
Convergence: Courage in a Crisis Parents' Guide
What kind of toll has Covid-19 taken on doctors and other healthcare workers? What keeps them going despite the danger and stress? What are their greatest challenges?
BBC: Coronavirus: Four nurses on four continents tell their story
The Washington Post: What seven ICU nurses want you to know about the battle against covid-19
The New York Times: Covid Combat Fatigue
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