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Bosnia. Rwanda. Kosovo. Sierra Leone. Pakistan. Just a few of the world's humanitarian and political crises in the past years. Whether the result of war or nature, these disasters devastate populations and cripple health systems. Despite the immense dangers and difficulties of the work, one organization, Doctors Without Borders, has continuously intervened at these frontlines of overwhelming human need. Set in war-torn Congo and post-conflict Liberia, Living in Emergency interweaves the stories of four volunteers with Doctors Without Borders as they struggle to provide emergency medical care under the most extreme conditions. Two volunteers are new recruits: a 26 year-old Australian doctor stranded in a remote bush clinic and an American surgeon struggling to cope under the load of emergency cases in a shattered capital city. Two others are experienced field hands: a dynamic Head of Mission, valiantly trying to keep morale high and tensions under control, and an exhausted veteran, who has seen too much horror and wants out. Amidst the chaos, each volunteer must confront the severe challenges of the work, the tough choices, and test the limits of their own idealism.
You might call "Living in Emergency" a real-life "Mash" but there's nothing funny about what theses people do. This film focuses on four people who have volunteered to be part of the Doctors Without Borders programs, in doing so they are sent to places around the world to help take care of the sick in the worst possible conditions. It is not only hard to believe put sad as well to think that people around the world have to live in such conditions in the 21st century. It just doesn't seem fair but it also opens your eyes to the simple life we all live. I am not going to go into who these four people are because that is already written above but I will say what an inspiration they all are. To leave the comforts of their own homes, their family and friends to go to hostile and poverty stricken regions in the world to try and make a difference is a brave and honorable thing, I cannot even imagine what it would be like to live like these poor people have to live everyday and I certainly cannot imagine trying to run a clinic when just getting supplies is a major problem. The main action here takes place in the regions of war-torn Congo and Liberia, be warned there are some graphic and disturbing scenes in the film but there's no other way to show what these men and women contend with everyday without those images, hopefully in inspires others who can to act out and lend a hand in some way. The film shows these brave men and women as they deal with the region and all the poverty and mayhem while still trying to make a difference no matter how small. You also get to see the toll it takes on these individuals, their stay here is never for long periods of time and after watching the film you can understand why but you don't have to be in these regions long for it to start eating away at you.
"Living in Emergency" is an eye-opening, first hand look at our world's problems but it's also an a story of bravery and inspiration that lifts your spirits. I applaud these brave men and women around the world for helping out in any way they can. If there was ever a must-see film this would have to be it, I cannot recommend this enough and I hope everyone has a chance to see it. SHORTLISTED FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY, 2010 Academy Awards and for good reason, I congratulate Director, Mark Hopkins and everyone ellse involved in making this important and inspiring film. You can order the DVD HERE.
Released by First Run Features
***** Out Of *****