On the TRIO Bulletin Board, under the Transplant: Movie Reviews forum, there are commentaries on many movies that feature transplant storylines. On this page we offer first, a guide to hosting a "Transplant Movie Night" for your local audience, followed by, secondly, an alphabetical listing of transplant movies, each with a brief synopsis.
Keep in mind that the movies listed here run the full gamit of excellent to terrible, inspirational to horrific, from true stories to fiction that misrepresents the real transplant/donation process and life experience. Do not take their inclusion here as a recommendation, rather this is offered as a resource for anyone interested in the movie representation of organ transplant and donation. Proceed with caution and understand that the ratings offered are the personal views of this reviewer only.
A Transplant Movie Night Event
This description was developed in response to inquiries about an initiative launched here in the Philadelphia area back in 2006, independent of any specific organization, although at this time we have ten sponsoring organizations in which TRIO's Philadelphia was a founding member. We take no money from sponsors; rather just use their names to add credibility and interest to the event that anyone, especially the public, is invited to attend free (even the parking is free, a rarity in downtown Philadelphia). Each organization is encouraged to send out each Movie Night event's flyer with an invitation to all their membership, reaching about 1,500 people through this process.
So far we've collected over a thirty movies, most of them ordered off the web from Amazon partners for anywhere from $0.01 (plus $2.59 shipping) up to about $7, but certainly check the local library first where you can get them free. So far we know of another 3 groups who have taken up this lead and are doing their own "Transplant Movie Night events. You can actually do it in a person's home with a small group, or at the library where they often have a community room for free use. In our case, the local OPO office is reasonably central to our many patients so we have been using their excellent training facility to host the events. We offer 30 minutes before the show for social time, followed by the feature and then 30+ minutes for discussion of some topic based on the story line of that film and this has made it a very interesting evening, with Saturday nights from 6 to 9 the best choice for our audience. We've been doing the on a quarterly basis with about 25 attendees on average (we have room for 100+ if needed), and usually different people depending on the type of film being offered (Return to Me, for example, was offered as a "romantic comedy"....) The flyers (which I expect to offer on that web site also in an editable form for local use) are distributed by the sponsoring organizations and the OPO (the Gift of Life Donor Program), reaching all the transplant centers and about 1000 families overall. Our expenses for the event are $0 (except for purchasing or renting the movie - DVD or VHS - and most I already had in my library) since everyone brings their own refreshments, and often extra to share with others. Another model we use allows the sponsoring organizations to set up information tables and they can offer refreshments from their table as an attraction.
A Transplant Movie Library
The following is a complete current list of the movies we have found and are showing on that quarterly schedule mentioned above (we don't show all the horror ones for our general audiences). For those movies already viewed, there may also be a short commentary or review sharing our reaction to that film posted on the Bulletin Board forum. In the list of movie titles, there is a “star rating” using a scale from zero stars (“felt it was a total waste”) up to 5-star (“a must-see movie – don’t miss it!”). The star rating is my own personal opinion and I know we all see things differently, so don’t blame me if YOU don’t feel the same way about a film I have rated. Ratings will be added as I have time to watch each film, and until then there are no stars ratings on some titles.
Each movie title links to more detailed information about that film, including such things as cover art, plot outline, starring roles, year of release, viewer commentary, purchasing sources, additional background information on the real-life people some movies may be based on, etc. To see the current movie listing click here: