Renowned documentarian Frederick Wiseman profiles the doctors, nurses, physicians, and patients at the Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, as he watches medical staff work around... See full summary »

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Renowned documentarian Frederick Wiseman profiles the doctors, nurses, physicians, and patients at the Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, as he watches medical staff work around the clock trying to provide care and comfort for patients possibly experiencing the last moments of their lives and console family members of the patients in addition. Written by Steve Pulaski

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7 October 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lähellä kuolemaa  »

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1.33 : 1
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poignant, subtly cynical, beautifully honest
27 January 2004 | by (Cesena, Italy) – See all my reviews

A very long documentary, but you can't stop watching it even after the 4th hour. the footage was taken in an intensive unit care of a Boston hospital and it is simply about the world in there, a world made of medical doctors and nurses, near to death patients and their desperate relatives. A small world that lives constantly on the verge of a crucial boundary, the one between life and death, a world that is not meant to be inhabited for too long and in which everybody tries to find a self protective routine. The desperate relatives with their cries and tries of find an escape in the medical daily reports leading to an impossible recovery of their beloved ones. The hopeless and impotent patients with their silent pain and their belonging already to another world. The compassionate but always rational doctors that gained a sort of self powering attitude from living between life and death and are in fact just able to endless discussions. Wiseman is able to use these reality cuts and to make a novel out of them, still portraying the reality and in a beautifully 'dirty' black and white. Or better, in grey, this is how death is: and this is what this film is about, death and the poor means that every men and women of every status and education have to deal with it.


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