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The Flying Doctors of East Africa (1970)
"Die fliegenden Ärzte von Ostafrika" (original title)

TV Movie  |   |  Documentary  |  3 May 1970 (West Germany)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 294 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 3 critic

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Michael Woods ...
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3 May 1970 (West Germany)  »

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The Flying Doctors of East Africa  »

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Flying Doctors of East Africa
8 February 2009 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Flying Doctors of East Africa, The (1969)

*** (out of 4)

Original title: Die Fliegenden Ärzte von Ostafrika

Herzog documentary takes a look at some volunteers in Africa who fly around to various rural parts just to perform operations and spread the word about medicine. Even though the doctors try their best they are often met with people who either refuse to listen or are afraid of what they are actually trying to do. This is yet another fascinating film from the German director who of course would go onto make some of the best documentaries out there. This film here is like many of his future works in that it doesn't take a look at the subject in an usual way but instead takes a look at strange things other filmmakers might overlook. The perfect example of this is a scene where the narrator talks about hyenas and their appetite for the plane tires especially those made by Firestone. The doctors also have to work with other strange things like one tribe being terrified to climb steps so they have to be lured to climb them to reach the treatment. The doctors interviewed for the project are all rather interesting since they are doing this out of the kindness of their hearts. They discuss the benefit of flying around to the patients but they are open with their frustration of the same people who sometimes make their jobs very difficult. Before operations the doctors will tell people not to eat but the African people think food is the way to get healthy and this here causes many to puke into their masks and kill them (like the story to the Newman film The Verdict). Running a short 45-minutes, the movie never overstays its welcome and in the end this turns out to be another winner for the director.


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