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photo Bodies and Souls
By Christie Herring

Sister Manette, a white Catholic nun, runs the only health clinic in Jonestown, a largely African-American town in the rural heart of the Mississippi delta. Nearly every family in Jonestown has someone with diabetes, heart disease, or both. Yet few have health insurance, and many have not seen a doctor more than once or twice in their entire lives.

Bodies and Souls follows Sister Manette through her daily mission "to help save bodies, so that the souls can come alive." Despite the challenge of providing the only health services this community has had in fifteen years, she manages to retain a refreshingly practical approach to race, poverty and faith.

The building Sister Manette works in was originally set up as a regional health facility "in the days of the Kennedy administration, when we were going to get rid of poverty." Integration, she notes "wasn't even a dream at that time," and the building was set up with two waiting rooms, two water fountains, two bathrooms. It was vacated when the doctors responsible for it couldn't make a go of it. Today, as a nurse practitioner, she works with minimal supervision from an area physician — eight hours a month — but with the active support of community members and of several other nuns who have devoted themselves to the community.

17 minutes
© 2005
Purchase $199 DVD
Order No. QA-454
ISBN (DVD) 1-57295-851-0

Awards & Conference Screenings
Best Short Documentary, Magnolia Independent Film Festival
Director's Choice, Black Maria Film Festival
San Francisco Black Film Festival
Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee

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Web Resources

To rent or purchase this film, please visit the Icarus Films website