A new documentary from Samaritan’s Purse and executive producer Franklin Graham, Facing Darkness is the true story of how two American aid workers in Africa were infected by Ebola, and how a team of people raced to rescue them.
With interviews of those who fought firsthand against Ebola, the documentary was filmed in Liberia and the United States. Telling the stories of true heroes, it shows how they risked their lives to stop one of the deadliest epidemics ever. Ebola infected 28,000 people in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, claiming 11,000 lives.
The Ebola outbreak began in March 2014, and by June it was a raging epidemic. Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol were in ELWA Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, even in the face of the people of Liberia’s trust for authority and outsiders. But the two were fighting the surge of the killer virus when they caught the disease themselves.The Samaritan’s Purse team fought to save Brantly and Writebol by evacuating them from Africa to the United States for treatment.
Graham, the president and CEO of the organization, said, “Samaritan’s Purse workers were holding the last line of defense in a crisis the world was largely ignoring. Hundreds were dying and it was only growing worse. When the disease struck Dr. Kent Brantly and hygienist Nancy Writebol, we knew we had to get them home for treatment. It was their only chance, yet it was something no one had ever done.”
“Faith is not something that makes you safe,” Brantly said. “You had to face death in the eye and decide, ‘Who am I going to be today?’”
“I think when there’s a crisis, God wants us to be there,” Graham said. “He doesn’t want us to run away. God has put us there for a reason, and he expects us to do something about it.”
Thankfully, Samaritan’s Purse has reached 1.5 people through education and immunization, and Liberia is now Ebola free. Now, audiences will be able to see the story play out on film, to understand the sacrifice of the two doctors and the difference Samaritan Purse makes.
Facing Darkness will premiere at the Heartland Film Festival, and has received an Award of Excellence from the Accolade Global Film Competition. The film will debut in theaters in March 2017.