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UTHealth film about Third Reich’s “killing nurses” wins Platinum at WorldFest

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The WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival has honored a 56-minute film produced by Cizik School of Nursing at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) with a Platinum Remi Award given for a documentary under 60 minutes.  The original documentary film, Caring Corrupted: the Killing Nurses of the Third Reich, is a grim cautionary story about nurses who participated in the Holocaust and abandoned their professional ethics during the Nazi era.

Cizik School of Nursing Director of Educational Technology Linda L. Crays, M.A., production coordinator for the challenging three-year endeavor, said: “Thanks to everyone involved for their hard work on this project. It is nice that others have recognized all that we have put into this effort!”

Caring Corrupted casts a harsh light on nurses who used their professional skills to murder the handicapped, mentally ill and infirm at the behest of the Third Reich and directly participated in genocide.  During on-camera interviews, experts and survivors ponder the causes and meaning of such horrifying ethical violations in medical care. The film premiered during a January 2017 reception at the Holocaust Museum Houston.

“These Third Reich nurses lost their moral ‘true north’ – and, instead of easing the suffering of vulnerable individuals and defying immoral orders, their ethical compasses were diverted, and they lost their bearings of professional responsibility and compassion,” said Cizik School of Nursing Dean Lorraine Frazier, Ph.D., R.N. “We earnestly hope that none of our nursing students are ever faced with such conscience-searing moral choices as were the nurses in the film, but this will be a reminder to each of us to never forget.”

The WorldFest film festival, now in its 50th year, is one of the oldest and largest film and video competitions in the world.  More than 4,500 category entries vied for a Remi Award this year. (The Remi Award takes its name from artist Frederic Remington, who captured the spirit of Texas and the American West with his dramatic paintings and sculptures.)

No awards are given in any category unless the scores from the juries are high enough to place for honors. Overall, only 15-20 percent of total entries actually win an award at WorldFest.

Medals are given out in platinum, gold, silver and bronze categories. If a film gets a score of 93-94, it wins platinum. A score of 95 or higher merits consideration for a special jury award, and only those entries are considered for the grand winner. Everyone who attended the WorldFest Grand Awards Gala on April 28 at the Marriott Westchase HQ Hotel had won an award, as only the actual winners are invited to the gala event.

The Platinum Remi Award-winning film, Caring Corrupted, can be viewed on YouTube.

Donors who generously provided funding for the nursing school’s project were: the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission; the Marvin and Joan Kaplan Foundation; the Joe Levit Family Foundation; and individual donors.

Caring Corrupted: the Killing Nurses of the Third Reich was produced by Sunset Productions, Houston: James Bailey, Producer and Screenwriter; Mark Susman, Editor/Director of Photography; Susan Benedict, Ph.D., CRNA, Script Consultant; Alan Varner, Narrator; Fast Cut Films, Post Production.

Written by – David R. Bates, Communications Director Cizik School of Nursing

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