5 user 24 critic

Living in Emergency (2008)

1:59 | Trailer
In the war-zones of Liberia and Congo, four volunteers with Doctors Without Borders struggle to provide emergency medical care under extreme conditions.


Mark N. Hopkins
1 win. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Tom Krueger Tom Krueger ... Himself
Chris Brasher Chris Brasher ... Himself
Chiara Lepora Chiara Lepora ... Herself
Davinder Gill Davinder Gill ... Himself


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Higher Stakes. Tougher Choices. Medicine like you've never seen it.




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English | Swahili | French

Release Date:

14 December 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders See more »


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,905, 6 June 2010

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, "MSF") is an independent medical relief agency, offering assistance to populations in crisis irrespective of race, religion, creed, or politics. Established in 1971, it has become the world's largest independent provider of emergency medical relief, operating in over 70 countries throughout the world. In 1999 it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its pioneering humanitarian work. See more »

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User Reviews

Before you volunteer for MSF, watch this
1 September 2013 | by regantoSee all my reviews

Thanks to this documentary, you can see Médecins sans frontières at work in war zones without any promotional polish. You watch bullet wounds, amputations in progress, patients near death, and the agony of not only the patients but also the doctors. They are playing god every day as they decide whom to treat and whom to let die, or are forced to let patients die because the necessary supplies have, yet again, failed to arrive. One revelation is that just about all MSF doctors are chain smokers. Another is that MSF rejects almost all of the doctors who offer to work for it as volunteers. The operation is pretty much one big arbitrary triage, serving about 0.01% of those who need its help. In lucky locales (those with temporary clinics), everybody who shows up gets at least some treatment. Everywhere else (or when the clinics have closed), people just die.

The main question not asked: Then why even set up a few emergency clinics in places where medicine can't be practiced well and doctors suffer instant burnout? Why not instead organize airlifts to bring treatable patients to durable care facilities, and train barefoot health workers to reach, vaccinate, and educate the 2 billion people who need them? A couple of doctors gave partial answers to this question, inadvertently. One said that he keeps returning to MSF missions because only by fixing other people can he fix himself. Another said work at an MSF clinic offers him a way to escape from his home world.

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