Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders
|This article reads like a news release, or is otherwise written in an overly promotional tone. (August 2010)|
|Living in Emergency|
|Directed by||Mark N. Hopkins|
|Produced by||Naisola Grimwood
Mark N. Hopkins
Geralyn White Dreyfous
Mark Jonathan Harris
Sarah Johnson Redlich
|Music by||Bruno Coulais|
|Edited by||Bob Eisenhardt
|Distributed by||Bev Pictures
First Run Features
|Release date(s)||August 29, 2008
(Venice Film Festival)
June 4, 2010
(U.S. Theatrical Release)
|Running time||93 minutes|
Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders was among the 15 documentaries shortlisted for the Best Documentary Oscar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the 82nd Academy Awards.
It is the first uncensored film about Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF or Doctors Without Borders) and seeks to viscerally portray the real life of western doctors in the field as they confront the many difficulties and dilemmas of working in extreme conditions with limited resources.
Two of the doctors are new recruits: a 26 year-old Australian stranded in a remote bush clinic and an American surgeon struggling to cope under the load of emergency cases in a shattered capital city. Two others are experienced field hands: a dynamic Head of Mission, valiantly trying to keep morale high and tensions under control, and an exhausted veteran, who has seen too much horror and wants out.
Amidst the chaos, each volunteer must confront the severe challenges of the work, the tough choices, and the limits of their idealism.
It took six months for the filmmakers to persuade MSF to grant them unrestricted access to film the field operations. More than 25 production companies had tried and been rejected.
For a period of two years the team filmed in various MSF hospitals. The shoots were organized to cover the various facets of the MSF organization; the administrative base, the conflict and post-conflict missions, and a response to natural disaster.
The film's unconventional structure, which inter-cuts between four characters in two countries, charts the psychological journey of the volunteer experience and how it shapes a person's perspectives from first mission to veteran. This experience is the central arc of the film.
Two other countries that were filmed did not make it into the final movie.
Living in Emergency premiered at the 65th Venice Film Festival and screened at film festivals around the world. It was released theatrically by Bev Pictures at the Lumiere Theater in San Francisco and other theaters in the U.S. on June 4, 2010 and later on DVD/VOD by First Run Features.
- 15 Documentary Features Continue in 2009 Oscar® Race, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (18 November 2009).
- Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders, Doctors Without Borders Official Website