Director Penny Lane’s decision to become a “good Samaritan” by giving one of her kidneys to a stranger turns into a funny and moving personal quest to understand the nature of altruism. Confessions of a Good Samaritan is a provocative inquiry into the science, history, and ethics of organ transplantation, asking an ancient question in a whole new way: Who is your neighbour, and what do you owe them?
From Penny – Confessions Of A Good Samaritan is an offbeat and provocative inquiry into the science, history, and ethics of organ transplantation. It is also my personal passion project and the hardest film I’ve ever tried to make. At first, I was reluctant to make a film about this deeply personal andemotional experience, but eventually, I realised I had a unique chance to make an interesting work of art that will also save lives (so I got over myself). Did you know that 13 Americans die every day awaiting a kidney transplant? That’s the bad news. But the good news is that if just 1 in 10,000 people could be inspired to give a kidney, the waiting list would be eradicated immediately. This is what motivates me. My film will share the truth about what it was like to donate a kidney to someone I’ll never meet. In trying to answer the simple question, “Why?”, I will bring viewers on a fascinating journey through the neuroscience of altruism, the history of surgery, and the future of organ transplantation.
Penny Lane is one of the most interesting documentary makers in the world, and it’s our pleasure to again bring her new film to Docs Ireland.