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Jimmy Carter Featured in Two Independent Documentaries Screening at The Carter Center August 21


Contact: Emily Staub, The Carter Center
(404) 420-5126

ATLANTA…Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is featured in two independently produced documentaries screening at The Carter Center as part of DocuFest Atlanta's 5th annual, five-day international film festival.  Beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 21, take a rare inside look at the challenges facing Carter Center health workers in remote, impoverished areas as they eradicate an alien-like disease in the premier of "Foul Water / Fiery Serpent." Afterwards, "A Road Not Taken" traces the story of the Carter-installed solar panels after they left a White House that pushed for alternative energy. (See below for screening details and general DocuFest information.)

Foul Water / Fiery Serpent

Directed by: Gary Strieker - 88 min. - USA

Sigourney Weaver narrates as the film follows dedicated health workers from The Carter Center, and the national ministries of health, as well as President Carter, as they work together on the front lines to eradicate Guinea worm disease.

For thousands of years, the Guinea worm parasite (Dracunculus medinensis) has caused disabling misery, infecting people who drink stagnant water contaminated with the worm's larvae. After growing inside the human host for a year, the adult female worm, up to 3-feet-long, emerges from the body through a skin blister, causing incapacitating pain and sometimes crippling its victims. There is no cure for Guinea worm disease, and the only treatment is wrapping the worm around a piece of gauze or a stick and painfully pulling it out, inch by inch, every day, for weeks.

"And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died..." Numbers 21:4-9. Parasitologists believe the "fiery serpents" of the Bible might have been Guinea worms. The disease would have been present in the Middle East at the time of the Exodus, as it was until recently. The worms can be the width of a piece of spaghetti and cause excruciating pain when breaking through the skin to release their larvae, so it is easy to understand how they could be called "fiery serpents."

For nearly three years, "Foul Water / Fiery Serpent" tracked determined teams of men and women as they fought the closing skirmishes to wipe out some of the last Guinea worms in Ghana and Southern Sudan, attacking the parasite where it thrives, in poor, remote villages that rely on contaminated water.

Following the victory against smallpox, Guinea worm is likely to be only the second disease in human history to be eradicated from the Earth, and the first to be wiped out without a medicine or vaccine.

In 1986, there were an estimated 3.5 million cases of the disease in 20 countries in Africa and Asia. Guinea worm has been reduced by more than 99.9 percent through the work of The Carter Center and its partners. Fewer than 3,000 cases remain in a few pockets: southern Sudan, northern Ghana, eastern Mali, and western Ethiopia.

A Road Not Taken

Directed by: Christina Hemauer & Roman Keller - 66 min. - Switzerland

In 1979, President Jimmy Carter installed solar panels on the roof of the White House. Seven years later, under orders from President Ronald Reagan, they were removed and packed away in storage, where they remained, out of sight and out of mind until a professor at a small school in Maine rescued them from history's scrap-heap.

The documentary film "A Road Not Taken," traces the story of these solar panels after they left the White House. Along the way, the filmmakers meet people who actively helped President Carter set energy policy and others who were directly affected by the oil crisis of the 1970s.

After the film, see one of the historic panels in person. While many of the panels are still in use - heating water for the cafeteria at Unity College in Maine - one of them lives in the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, just steps from the screening location.

Saturday, Aug. 21

The Carter Center
453 Freedom Parkway
Atlanta, GA  30307

2 p.m.

Foul Water / Fiery Serpent

Directed by: Gary Strieker - 88 min. - USA

  • Learn more about "Foul Water/Fiery Serpent."
  • DocuFest tickets to view this movie are $8 each. To purchase, click the "add to cart" button:

3:30 p.m.

A Road Not Taken

Directed by: Christina Hemauer & Roman Keller - 66 min - Switzerland

  • Learn more about the "A Road Not Taken."
  • DocuFest tickets to view this movie are $8 each. To purchase, click the "add to cart" button:

View the complete DocuFest schedule, festival passes, and tickets. 

Editor's Note:

Atlanta International Documentary Film Festival (DocuFest Atlanta) delivers the best in independent documentary film and video from across the globe. Now in its 5th year, the festival continues to showcase meaningful life stories which educate and entertain audiences from every demographic. DocuFest Atlanta runs Aug. 18-22, and is the only festival in the southeast to focus exclusively on independent documentary films.


"Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope."

A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers in developing nations to increase crop production. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. Please visit to learn more about The Carter Center.

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