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by Landi Maduro   |   June 23, 2017

“The Silent Killer: Prostate Cancer in the African American Community”

A few years ago Landi’s filmmaking partner, E. Chris Edwards, came to her with an idea for a new film. His father and brother were prostate cancer survivors and he’d realized that many men in his community never talked about the disease, let alone get screened for it. He wanted to ensure that men were aware of their risk, and so “The Silent Killer: Prostate Cancer in the African American Community” was born.

In order to make this authentic, relatable documentary film, Landi visited sporting events, local communities, churches, and other community gathering places to interview men and see what they knew about prostate cancer. After speaking to dozens of men, Landi decided to follow several men who were all battling different stages of the disease: she focused on how they were dealing with their diagnoses, what treatment they decided to pursue, and how prostate cancer has affected their lives. She also interviewed medical and health professionals to provide viewers different angles of the disease.

As I started travelling and talking to men for the film, I was astounded by how much men don’t talk about their health. I was determined then and there to become educated about the disease so I could then in turn help educate men. African-American men in particular are missing out on care and treatment because they’re not talking.

About six months into the making of the film Landi’s father was diagnosed with prostate cancer himself. She credits the knowledge and research she gained while creating the film for helping her father choose his treatment. After he decided on Active Surveillance, he agreed to be in the movie to help educate other men.

If we want to get men to start talking about prostate cancer, it’s going to take a lot of doing. But if we can make the subject not such a big deal, then I think the whole narrative will change.

It was during this time that she also began reaching out to prostate cancer and health organizations to receive educational materials to have at her screenings, which is how she found ZERO.

I can’t sit back and do nothing. Screening the film for men and having a table with information from ZERO about prostate cancer allows me to ensure that men take what they’ve learned home with them.

Landi has screened the documentary – “The Silent Killer: Prostate Cancer in the African American Community” – at film festivals in California and has since decided to take it on a theatrical tour nationwide. At a recent event in Houston, Landi screened the film with an accompanying health fair that tested men for prostate cancer during the event. The health fair tested about 200 men – 22 of which came back with high PSA levels and the chance to talk to their doctor about further testing.

If we can just save one man’s life with showing this film, we’ll be so proud. That’s what it’s all about: saving lives.

You can check out more info about “The Silent Killer” documentary (and find out when it’s coming to a city near you!) on their website.