In January, 1997, a team of five nurses, four anesthesiologists, and three plastic surgeons arrive in Vietnam from the United States for two weeks' of volunteer work. They operate on 110 ... See full summary »

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In January, 1997, a team of five nurses, four anesthesiologists, and three plastic surgeons arrive in Vietnam from the United States for two weeks' of volunteer work. They operate on 110 children who have various birth defects and injuries. They also talk to the film crew about why they've made this trip and what it means to them. We watch them work, and we see the children, their families, and their surroundings in the Mekong Delta. Over the closing credits, Dionne Warwick sings Bacharach and David's "What the World Needs Now Is Love." Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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In April 2007, this was released under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (by-nc-nd) License, a first for any Academy Award-winning film. See more »

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Amazing Story
20 April 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am reviewing this film based on how I felt the subject was so amazing. This review has nothing to do with editing, cinematography, etc. Having said that:

I really found this documentary informative and moving. The personal stories the surgeons and nurses told brought me to tears. I was definitely moved by how thankful these people were. It was humbling. I also liked the follow-up that was given about two of the patients. It was great to see both of them, but Kim's before and after was astonishing!!

For those of you wondering what this film is about: A group of doctors, plastic surgeons, nurses and other volunteers go to Vietnam to operate on people with cleft lips and palettes. Many people in the United States are also born with clefts, but most are able to get surgery when they are very young. This is not the case in Vietnam. Some people are so ashamed by their clefts that they rarely go in public, or they use something to hide their clefts. One of the reasons they are ashamed of the clefts is due to a superstition. It is said that if a pregnant woman sees someone with a cleft, her child will also have one. The story of the surgeries, workers, and patients are fascinating and moving. I just wished the film were a bit longer, because I would like to know if the doctors got to do any of the surgeries that weren't for the clefts. In the first few minutes of the film, you see people that came to get surgeries on things besides the clefts, and it does make you curious about what happened to them.

Overall, I think this documentary delivers a great story that will make you cry, laugh, and ultimately lift your spirits. If you get a chance, you should definitely see it. It's only about 30 minutes long!!


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