Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders Image
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76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Two volunteers are new recruits: a 26 year-old Australian doctor 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 toTwo volunteers are new recruits: a 26 year-old Australian doctor 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 own idealism. (Truly Indie) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Lucy Barber
    88
    A remarkable look at the people behind an organization that understands its limitations.
  2. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    85
    More than anything, though, Living in Emergency leaves us wanting to know more about what makes these four people tick differently from the rest of us -- we who balk at anything riskier than signing petitions and joining Facebook protest groups.
  3. Free of grandstanding and sentimentality, this powerful 2008 documentary follows missions to Liberia and the Congo undertaken by volunteers for Medecins Sans Frontieres.
  4. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    80
    With rare candor and a refreshing lack of piety, first-timers and combat-weary veterans exhibit their camaraderie, euphoria and burnout as the camera documents their struggles with logistics, horror, death and self-doubt.
  5. Living in Emergency, then, is like a hard slap to the face: There is nothing remotely romantic about this grim depiction of two missions in Liberia and Congo in the mid-2000s.
  6. Living in Emergency is sobering, in part because it powerfully conveys that, despite the group's heroic efforts, its impact is "a drop in a sea of oceans." There's never enough time, supplies or volunteers, but, as one of the doctors notes, "the demand is pretty much infinite."
  7. Ultimately rather opaque. It lacks sufficient emotional and psychological clarity to cut through our disaster fatigue.

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