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In the war-zones of Liberia and Congo, four volunteers with Doctors Without Borders struggle to provide emergency medical care under extreme conditions. With different levels of experience, each volunteer must find their own way to face the challenges, the tough choices, and the limits of their idealism. "Living in Emergency" is a window into the seldom portrayed and less-than glamorous side of humanitarian aid work. It explores a world that is challenging, complex, and fraught with dilemmas - the struggles, both internal and external, that aid workers face when working in war zones and other difficult contexts. Written by
Red Floor Pictures
In the film one of the actors, Dr. Chris Brasher, makes a comment about a global agency's 'meetings' about future development, as opposed to the immediate and direct action that MSF (Medecins Sans Frontieres) takes. When questioned at the 2009 Berlin Babylon Film Festival on 4th December 2009, director Mark Hopkins said his brother works for that agency and he checked with him whether it was acceptable before including it in the final edit. See more »
Is there a more important movie out there about humanity?
What's the goal of a documentary? If it's to capture the truth that the principals face, then this movie succeeds greatly. That's not quite enough for me - maybe I've watched too many normal movies. I wish the narrative had been a little stronger, for the last 10-15 minutes dragged, as maybe filming had to end, but no real event dovetailed with that. So the story such as it is ends in a very real way, but it's not memorably climactic or moving, especially compared to the events depicted earlier, which are stunning, shocking, moving.
This is an extremely graphic movie. I can't imagine anyone not turning away during at least two scenes. And it's emotionally raw - I have never seen anything so honest or devastating as this one person's pain. I'd sit through a bad movie just to watch that minute, and I thank the filmmakers for not building up that moment with music or (hopefully) other manipulations.
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