From the Heart of the Adirondacks to the Wilderness of Afghanistan,
Dr. Tom Little spent a lifetime in “The Hard Places”.
PLATTSBURGH, NY – 01/08/2013 – Mountain Lake PBS has teamed up with Lukas and Salome Augustin to begin production on a new documentary telling the true story of Medal of Freedom recipient Dr. Tom Little. “The Hard Places” is a new feature-length documentary that will examine the big questions about the future of Afghanistan by chronicling the extraordinary journey of a man who chose to give up a life of comfort and security in order to make a difference.
Originally from Upstate NY, optician Dr. Tom Little arrived in Afghanistan just before the country entered a relentless series of conflicts that has lasted to the present day – from Soviet occupation, to civil war, to Taliban rule and the U.S. invasion following 9/11. Despite almost constant danger he, his wife, and his children decided to stay and live among the people they served. Today, due in largely to Dr. Little’s perseverance and dedication, his organization, International Assistance Mission (IAM), provides nearly 90% of all eye-care in the war torn nation.
Little spent much of his early life hiking in the Adirondacks, a set of life skills that prepared him well for his chosen field in Afghanistan. In July of 2010, Tom and a team of fellow aid workers backpacked 120 miles into the remote province of Nuristan to serve a population of nearly 50,000 people with no access to medical care. On August 5th, 2010, only a day trip away from solid roads returning to Kabul, his team was ambushed and murdered in the wilderness. In 2011, in recognition of his life’s work and sacrifice, President Obama posthumously awarded Tom Little the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor bestowed upon any U.S. citizen.
In recent days we have seen an increased incidence of aid workers being targeted by militants whose goal is to make bridge building between East and West impossible. The goal of “The Hard Places” is to reveal the lasting impact of Dr. Little’s work and use his story as a lens to investigate the challenges, dangers and successes of international aid work and highlight the continuing need for medical access and training, and sustainable development for the Afghan people.
You can view the trailer for this film, and help support its production online at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1506646731/the-hard-places-the-tom-little-story.