ACCIDENT, MD (2018, 19min)
Director / Producer
“Accident, MD is the passionate work of a civic-minded filmmaker who, in the midst of a Presidential campaign that was fuelled by outlandishly deceptive claims, channels his bewilderment into action; in presenting the insidious power of political propaganda and its irrational effect, it does more to explain the election of a flamboyantly enraged liar than most daily newspaper accounts.” - Richard Brody, The New Yorker
“The origin of this week’s Staff Pick Premiere traces back to an unlikely source of inspiration: the emergency room. Filmmaker Dan Rybicky found himself there years ago to remove a kidney stone. Afterwards, he was shocked to learn that he suddenly owed a whopping $40,000 for his short hospital visit. Rybicky’s confusion about the exorbitant cost got him thinking about the state of America’s healthcare system. Eventually, this confusion turned into curiosity as Rybicky felt compelled to “investigate Americans’ moral and philosophical approaches to [the] concepts of “health” and “care” more fully.” To do so, he began interviewing the inhabitants of a rural town with the perfect name relating to his inquiry, Accident, MD.
To begin, Rybicky walked from one end of Accident, Maryland to the other side of town, introducing himself to people along the way and telling them that he wanted to make a film about healthcare. Rybicky recounts that “most people chuckled and then started talking and didn’t stop.” What came from the twenty plus interviews is a collage of differing perspectives on the subject from rural America. When watching “Accident, MD” the viewer notices that although the opinions of the subjects conflict at times, when they are pieced together by Rybicky and editor/cinema-tographer Brian Ashby, a unique tone of humanity is translated to the screen.
Rybicky proves with his film that no matter how politically inclined you are, the “right and left, liberal and conservative agree that the system is broken.” As the debate about healthcare continues in the United States, it is comforting to a degree to learn from “Accident, MD” that we are ultimately all united on a human level for wanting the same thing in the end: good health.” - Ian Durkin, Vimeo Senior Curator
“Prior to Accident, MD, Rybicky spent eight years working on a feature film titled Almost There, which told the story of an 83-year-old man, considered an outsider, who finds himself dealing with a lot of hardships, including his house being condemned. This film raised a lot of questions from Rybicky’s audience about healthcare and how people, much like the man in his movie, are able to survive – ultimately sparking the idea.
‘Accident, MD, is a film that perfectly encapsulates our current political moment,’ says Sam Flancher, a programmer for the Chicago International Film Festival. ‘Rybicky’s subjects reveal the immense human cost of a political propaganda machine that forces people [to] think and act against their own self interest. The interviewees are never belittled or condescended to—they’re revealed as vulnerable human beings taking the brunt of the consequences of a nationwide crisis.’” - Yasmeen Qahwash, Columbia College Chicago
”Accident, MD is not just a short film. It is a critical document about one of the most pressing issues of our time that conveys urgent voices and perspectives to the American public.” - Daniel Ross, PBS/Independent Lens