If you missed the premier of two great P.O.V films this week, you have a chance to watch the full films online! In the Family is streaming online until October 31, 2008 while Critical Condition is streaming until November 11, 2008.
Both films document intensely personal journeys and stories, and both are engaged with the issue of health care in America. During an election season in which health care reform has become one of the nation’s most hotly debated issues, Roger Weisberg‘s Critical Condition tells the story of four families living without insurance. The film lays out the human consequences of an increasingly expensive and inaccessible system.

In The Family is also a story of struggle and survival. Filmmaker Joanna Rudnick tells her story of testing positive for the BRCA gene (the “breast cancer gene”) at age 27. In trying to answer her own tough question about whether or not to take the irreversible step of having her breasts and ovaries removed as preventative measure, Joanna’s reaches out to other women and faces her deepest fears about her future. In the Family portrays the difficult choices that face these women, how families deal with grief and the relationships that are formed during trying moments in our lives.

After you watch the films online, you can browse the other sections of the In the Family and Critical Condition websites to learn more about issues raised in the films and to get an update on what has happened since filming ended. And from now through October 8, you can talk to a genetic counselor on the In the Family discussion board, or compare the health reform plans of presidential nominees McCain and Obama in terms of how they might have affected the characters in Critical Condition.

So point your browser over to the POV website, sit back in front of your computer with a box of tissues, and watch In the Family and Critical Condition.

Maggie Owsley is a student at NYU and an intern at POV Interactive.

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POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 300 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.