February 28, 2017 | HILLEMAN: A Perilous Quest to Save the World’s Children | Reading, PA
Heroes! The Miller Center on RACC’s campus is full of them. It’s my last stop of an On Screen/In Person tour that’s been wonderful, filled with so many great people and enthusiastic engagements.
When I arrive, I’m greeted by Brett, the Center’s production engineer who’s ready and waiting to test picture and sound. He pops my Blu-ray disc into the player and hits play, but the player decides to stop working, with just an hour and a half left before show time. Brett excuses himself, disappearing through a stage door, and I’m pretty sure he’s loosening his tie as he goes. Within half an hour he’s back, a new Blu-ray player in hand and this time it works flawlessly.
The film starts right on time and plays without incident, and afterward I’m joined on stage by Dr. Mark S. Reuben of Reading Pediatrics, and Tracy Scheirer, chairperson of the Berks County Immunization Coalition. Dr. Rueben has been immunizing kids in this community for the past 40 years, helping them and their families understand why it’s so important to be brave and get your shots. Tracy and the coalition do the tireless work of educating the public about vaccine safety and providing free clinics so everyone has access to the best that preventative medicine has to offer.
The audience is made up of school nurses, college students, physicians, even a former immigration officer, all deeply committed to their professions, to the safety of their kids, to the service of their friends, to the love of their families. In HILLEMAN they see a man that’s bigger than the sum of his many accomplishments, and yet, I think they see something of themselves as well, an ordinary American working in the shadows to leave the world a better place than he found it. From Brett and the Miller Center staff, to my fellow panelists, to everyone in the hall, it’s easy to see what makes a hero. As Hilleman says, it’s “that ethic of doing something useful, and being useful to the world.”
Post provided by On Screen/In Person touring filmmaker, Donald Mitchell