The Heart of Nuba focuses on Tom Cadena and Mother of Mercy Hospital, June 18–21

New film at Proctors highlights Amsterdam doctor’s work in war-torn Sudan

SCHENECTADY, N.Y.—JUNE 11, 2018—In war-torn Sudan, a single doctor at a single facility serves a population of nearly a million.

A new documentary, The Heart of Nuba, highlights the work of Amsterdam, N.Y. native Dr. Tom Cadena and Mother of Mercy Hospital, a 435-bed institution in the southern Sudanese mountains.

“Just about every day,” The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof wrote in 2015, “the Sudanese government drops bombs or shells on civilians in the Nuba Mountains, part of a scorched-earth strategy to defeat an armed rebellion here. The United States and other major powers have averted their eyes, so it is left to “Dr. Tom,” as he is universally known here, to pry out shrapnel from women’s flesh and amputate limbs of children, even as he also delivers babies and removes appendixes.”

“He does all this off the electrical grid, without running water, a telephone or so much as an X-ray machine—while under constant threat of bombing, for Sudan has dropped 11 bombs on his hospital grounds. The first time, Dr. Tom sheltered, terrified, in a newly dug pit for an outhouse, but the hospital is now surrounded by foxholes in which patients and the staff crouch when military aircraft approach.”

The Heart of Nuba, directed by Kenneth A. Carlson, paints a harsh picture, but also brings hope, mainly in the form of Dr. Tom’s immense faith and his love for the resilient people of Nuba.

It portrays a hero from our midst.

Tickets for The Heart of Nuba, $6, Noon and 7 p.m. Monday, June 18–Thursday, June 21, are available at the Box Office at Proctors; by phone at 518.346.6204; and online at

Not Rated. 85 minutes.