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Jacques de Baroncelli
Early in the morning three surfers draw out to sea to brave the waves. On the road they get an accident. The nineteen-year-old Simon Limbres transported to the hospital in a comatose state, where the doctor finds that his brain is dead. He is kept alive by machines. His parents must quickly make a difficult decision about possible organ donation.Written by
Surgeons at work, a young ocean surfer and a middle-aged woman with a terminal ailment, collide together like erratic waves and shifting currents. The sea serves as a metaphor and transition point in this drama about diverse lives connecting, the nuances of human interaction under trying circumstances and dealing with the unexpected.
Heal the Living includes some fantastic and heart-rending scenes including; a teen racing uphill in the city to greet his love, a police escort in the night for precious medical cargo, a message to an unconscious boy and spending what may be the last moments with someone before they die.
The filmmakers deftly portray the professional nonchalance, human sensitivity (or lack thereof), amazing skillfulness and bewildering medical technology of surgeons and their assistants. The physical operations performed by the surgeons are shown in admirable and excruciating detail. I had to look away more than once. Hospital politics are delved into with doctors bickering over the limits of treating people with compassion. The film is based on Maylis de Kerangal's novel Mend the Living. According to the director at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival premiere, the author was consulted for the movie, did not always agree with certain scenes, but liked the final result. My only wish is for deeper dialogue and a faster pace at times. Wonderful imagery of surfing and the sea.
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