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Extremis (2016)

1:25 | Trailer
Witness the wrenching emotions that accompany end-of-life decisions as doctors, patients and families in a hospital ICU face harrowing choices.


Dan Krauss
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview:
Monica Bhargava Monica Bhargava ... Herself (as Monica Bhargava M.D.)
Jessica Zitter Jessica Zitter ... Herself (as Jessica Nutik Zitter M.D.)


Witness the wrenching emotions that accompany end-of-life decisions as doctors, patients and families in a hospital ICU face harrowing choices.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Short


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

16 September 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Extremis See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

f/8 Filmworks See more »
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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Short Subject. See more »


Doctor: This is clearly a loving daughter who will do anything for her mother and she's really wrestling and struggling and sometimes, it's just too much for one person to make a decision like this on her own.
See more »


Featured in 2017 Oscar Nominated Shorts - Documentary (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

A Tough Subject Well Handled, But Knowing More About The Patients Would Have Helped
24 September 2016 | by sddavis63See all my reviews

There's probably no decision that's harder than the decision about the end of life - especially when you're in the position of having to make (or at least heavily influence) the decision. Most of us have probably at some point had to make that decision for a beloved pet, but we hope and we pray that we don't have to face the decision for a family member. But sometimes we do. People have a tendency not to just fall asleep and not wake up, or to simply die in an instant. People get sick - and then sicker, and sicker still. And somewhere along the way, the question comes up - how far should we go with this? If you've ever been in the position of having to face those questions (and I have been personally within my own family, and as a pastor I've stood with families who've been faced with this decision) then you'll certainly be moved by this short film, and by the situations depicted.

This is a 24 minute short film that depicts these decisions being made in what seems to be an ICU in a major city. Doctors, nurses, families and patients all struggle together with the decision. Machines or no machines? Tubes or no tubes? Just how far do we go to keep a person alive who has no reasonable prospect for any significant recovery and when the quality of life has disappeared? It's a heart-wrenching decision for everyone, and that's one thing that becomes clear. Even the doctors - who surely have to do this a lot - are sometimes uncertain, and it's emotionally draining on them as well. Everyone wants and hopes for and prays for a miracle, but usually they don't come. If you've never been through this kind of situation and you want to get a glimpse of the sorts of things you struggle with, this is worth watching.

The main weakness I saw here was that it was so short. We got no real depth into any of the patients. There was no chance to get to know them or their families. We could sympathize (and perhaps empathize, if you've been through this) with them, but although the situations are moving, there's no real emotional connection with the people involved. I almost had the sense that I was intruding into some place that I had no business being. I think if more of the backstories had been made known, that might not have been the case.

Still, this is sobering and thought-provoking. As one of the people in the movie said, "everyone in this room is going to die one day." It's true. Everyone reading this review is going to die one day, and so is the person writing it. This certainly does make you cognizant of your own mortality and it leaves you hoping that you have an easier end than the patients depicted here. (7/10)

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