American Nurse, The: Documentray, Made in 2014, More Relevant than Ever Before

The role of nurses in the U.S.–and all over the world–has never been so vital or urgent. To honor nurses on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, Kino Lorber offers a free streaming re-release of its 2014 documentary, The American Nurse.

Disregard the docu’s pedestrian title, which is not particularly appealing (it sounds too dry and educational) and watch a feature that highlights the lives of five American nurses from diverse specialties.

It bringing to the screen an honest look at the commitment, necessity, compassion, and daily risk involved behind this invaluable profession.

When Carolyn Jones, the director, had breast cancer, she was so moved and impressed by the nursing care she received that she wanted to pay tribute to the profession as a whole.

The film was developed after the success of the book The American Nurse: Photographs and Interviews by Carolyn Jones, originally released in 2012 and now in its fourth printing.

The film follows the paths of five nurses, including Jason Short as he drives up a rugged creek to reach a home-bound cancer patient in Appalachia.

Tonia Faust runs a prison hospice program where inmates serving life sentences care for their fellow inmates.

Naomi Cross coaches an ovarian cancer survivor through the Caesarean delivery of her son.

Sister Stephen is a nun who runs a nursing home filled with goats, sheep, and chickens, where the entire nursing staff comes together to sing for a dying resident.

Brian McMillion is an Army vet and former medic, who specializes in rehabilitating wounded soldiers.

Marking the six-year anniversary since it was theatrically released in May 2014, Kino Lorber is showing The American Nurse for free on its streaming platform Kino Now from now until the end of May.

The release is timed to coincide with National Nurses Week, and the World Health Organization (WHO) also designating 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

Though lacking artistic distinction, American Nurse is solid, informative, and effective in honoring a largely unsung occupation when it comes to representation in Hollywood films and pop culture.