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SFIFF 2012 Preview - "The Waiting Room" (Real Life Trials Of One Hospital Emergency Room)

Festivals
by Tambay A. Obenson
March 8, 2012 12:19 PM
2 Comments
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waiting room

I say screw the abundance of fictional hospital-set medical dramas and see this documentary feature instead which has all the drama served up non-scripted style. 

It's called The Waiting Room, an ITVS-funded, character-driven, cinema verité doc that, thanks to unprecendented access, takes the viewer inside the doors of an ER at an American public hospital struggling to care for a community of largely uninsured patients. 

It promises a raw, intimate, and uplifting look at how patients, caregivers and hospital staff deal with each other, illness, bureaucracy and hard choices.

Further...

The ER waiting room serves as the grounding point for the film, capturing in vivid detail what it means for millions of Americans to live without health insurance. Young victims of gun violence take their turn alongside artists and small business owners who lack insurance. Steel workers, taxi cab drivers and international asylum seekers crowd the halls. The film weaves the stories of several patients – as well as the hospital staff charged with caring for them – as they cope with the complexity of the nation’s public health care system, while weathering the storm of a national recession. The Waiting Room lays bare the struggle and determination of both a community and an institution coping with limited resources and no road map for navigating a health care landscape marked by historic economic and political dysfunction. It is a film about one hospital, its multifaceted community, and how our common vulnerability to illness binds us together as humans. 

As someone who's previously been one of those many uninsured (and currently know many who are in that predicament), only visiting hospital emergency rooms when in dire need of care, I definitely want to see this.

Directed by Emmy-award winning documentarian Peter Nicks, the film will make its debut in competition at the 55th annual San Francisco International Film Festival, which runs from April 19–May 3. More festival info HERE.

Watch a preview of it below:

Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    

2 Comments

  • Vivia | March 11, 2012 6:51 PMReply

    I've been dealing with the public (county) health system of Chicago since I was 10 years old after my dad died. So I can relate to a lot of what I saw in this trailer. I don't think anyone has ever really touched on what it's like dealing with county/public health systems. It's a pain in the a&% but I always was patient because I knew the help was free and it's only so much you can do. So I hope this sheds light on the need for better systems and how hard the people work in piss poor conditions.

  • Vivia | March 11, 2012 6:51 PMReply

    I've been dealing with the public (county) health system of Chicago since I was 10 years old after my dad died. So I can relate to a lot of what I saw in this trailer. I don't think anyone has ever really touched on what it's like dealing with county/public health systems. It's a pain in the a&% but I always was patient because I knew the help was free and it's only so much you can do. So I hope this sheds light on the need for better systems and how hard the people work in piss poor conditions.

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