Shot in cinema-vérité style, this feature doc immerses us in the sights and sounds of the world's largest field hospital, the International Committee of the Red Cross in Sudan. The ICRC allowed filmmakers David Christensen and Damien Lewis unprecedented access to the surgical hospital and local medical staff as they care for wounded Sudanese soldiers and women and children, all casualties of the civil war.
With no narrator and minimal explanation, War Hospital simply and powerfully captures the joy and sadness of life and death.
When I first saw this film I wasn’t sure what I was in for. While it contains some very difficult moments, it also has moments of pure tenderness, such as the scene in which a nurse comforts a distraught mother whose premature baby is being treated. The camera is respectful, never obtrusive. There is no narration and we quickly get used to the chaotic nature of this type of field hospital. From the airlifting of patients from combat zones to the treatment of women who have had problems during childbirth, the logistics of running this hospital in these conditions are mindboggling. It is a tribute to the dedicated men and women working there that so many lives are saved and so many people are treated. A film not to be missed – but definitely not for the squeamish.Albert Ohayon
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