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America’s Home Care Crisis—And the Filmmaker Trying to Change It

When Deirdre Fishel—director of CARE, a highly-lauded documentary about the growing home care crisis in the United States—was an undergraduate at Brown, she saw a film called We Will Not Be Moved. The movie addressed gentrification in Cincinnati, Ohio, and as she watched the footage, Fishel says that she became enraged that developers wanted to displace long-term residents to make way for the construction of high-end housing. In short order, Fishel found an internship in Cincinnati and spent a semester renovating housing for low-income people.

It was 1982 and serendipitously, she says, she met Tony Heriza, the filmmaker who directed We Will Not Be Moved. “He became my mentor,” Fishel told Lilith reporter Eleanor J. Bader. “We’ve had a long history together and thanks to him, I became dedicated to using film as an organizing tool.” Heriza was the producer of CARE, Fishel’s fourth film. (Earlier works include Risk; Still Doing It: The Intimate Lives of Women Over 65; and Sperm Donor X.)

Fishel and Bader recently spoke in Fishel’s light-filled Brooklyn kitchen.