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Parents' Guide to

Every Last Child

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Intense look at health workers tackling polio in Pakistan.

Movie NR 2015 88 minutes
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This harrowing, eye-opening documentary makes it clear how the Taliban's paranoia has helped a disease that's now virtually non-existent in the Western world rise at alarming levels in Pakistan. Polio is such a health crisis that the World Health Organization had deployed teams of native workers to help vaccinate children via oral drops that require more than one dose to work effectively. Stories captured here include that of a health worker whose niece and sister-in-law were both killed in the act of trying to vaccinate a poor village's children. Despite her grief, the woman courageously continues to work on the vaccination team in tribute to her departed loved ones.

Roberts doesn't just interview the local and national WHO officials coordinating efforts in Pakistan; he also talks to devout Muslim Pakistani men who explain why they would never allow their children to be vaccinated. Their candid, laughter-filled conversation -- in which they say that the vaccinators are actually spies for American and European Christians and Jews and that the supposed vaccines are poisonous and will leave their children diseased and infertile -- is absolutely chilling. But not as chilling as the film's shots of the blood-stained concrete or bullet-riddled doorways where WHO employees had been gunned down and left for dead, all out of a misguided fear that the vaccinators are doing the devil's work, when in fact, they're trying to save the children of Pakistan. This isn't an "easy" documentary to watch, but it's important and will make viewers wonder how they can help.

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