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Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders

13 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders + Triage: Dr James Orbinski's Humanitarian Dilemma + Medical Innovations in Humanitarian Situations: The Work of Médecins Sans Frontières
Price for all three: $47.13

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Bosnia. Rwanda. Kosovo. Sierra Leone. Pakistan. Just a few of the world's humanitarian and political crises in the past years. Whether the result of war or nature, these disasters devastate populations and cripple health systems. Despite the immense dangers and difficulties of the work, one organization, Doctors Without Borders, has continuously intervened at these frontlines of overwhelming human need.

Set in war-torn Congo and post-conflict Liberia, Living in Emergency interweaves the stories of four volunteers with Doctors Without Borders as they struggle to provide emergency medical care under the most extreme conditions.

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 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 test the limits of their own idealism.

Review

Gripping. --Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

Utterly Engrossing. --Kimberly Jones, Austin Chronicle

Inspiring against the heaviest of odds. --Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Dr. Chris Brasher, Dr. Chiara Lepora, Dr. Tom Krueger, Dr. Davinder Gill
  • Directors: Mark Hopkins
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: First Run Features
  • DVD Release Date: June 21, 2011
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004RIR5H2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,663 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

It's hard not to be impacted in a very visceral and emotional way when watching the compelling documentary "Living in Emergency." This hopeful and harrowing study following four volunteers for Doctors Without Borders was shortlisted (although not officially nominated) for Best Documentary Feature consideration at the Academy Awards. And it's easy to see why. A fascinating study of the reasons people practice medicine in extreme circumstances and the affect it has on them, it is sometimes dificult to understand why medical practitioners put themselves into physical and psychological distress--but impossible not to admire them for it. The film traces the individual journeys of two seasoned professionals as well as two doctors experiencing their first missions. Whether they face a community torn by violence and warfare or combat areas of isolation and primitive conditions, their struggles are palpable. The film really gives us a glimpse into the souls and frustrations of its participants and is one of the more personally affecting documentaries that I've seen in some time.

The main action centers in regions of war-torn Congo and Liberia, the film really sets up a climate in which emergency medicine (and indeed everyday healthcare) is absolutely essential. But, by and large, this is triage work. With limited resources, personnel, and access to modern equipment--the doctors do the best they can in unfavorable conditions. Some of the film's images are quite graphic and disturbing, but absolutely pivotal to showcasing just a fragment of what the doctors contend with. Their participation is temporary and their impact might be marginal in the grand scheme of things, but still they persevere to make a small difference in saving lives.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DVD Verdict on August 17, 2011
Judge Jake Ware, DVD Verdict-- Living In Emergency is a tight and well presented film giving us a glimpse into the working lives of these doctors who are without exception brave and socially aware individuals, to the point of putting themselves in harm's way in order to satisfy their own desire to contribute. The film follows four doctors as they try to cope with their stations and attend to patients who challenge them on a daily basis. It's incredibly stressful work, but the personal rewards are high too, when their treatment is successful they are making a significant and immediate difference to someone's life. This work is not about giving a prescription for Prozac to some stressed urbanite; often the intervention of these MDs is the difference between life and death.

Part of the motivation behind making Living In Emergency must have been to raise awareness of MSF and hence to get us Westerners who can afford to spend our time watching DVDs to contribute to its coffers. However, when presented with the kind of work these doctors perform, it's tough to be cynical about any marketing motivators behind the film. These doctors perform important work; the least that we can do is spring a few bucks to support it.

Living In Emergency is well made, well constructed, focused and informative. We get to see the good and the bad of the situation faced by MSF MDs, and we leave the film understanding that the work being done by MSF is almost negligible considering that a third of the world's population lives without access to modern medicines. And that is why it is even more important that MSF is allowed to not only continue the work they are doing, but to grow as quickly as possible. The world needs organizations like MSF.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Zeno CM on September 29, 2013
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As a former overseas volunteer I really appreciated the authenticity in this film.
The story telling was excellent and the filmography was well done.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William Savigne on November 24, 2012
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this a true documentary of doctors in there best and worst from their emotion in coping with chaos in medicine in coutries
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By Max P. on April 16, 2015
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Really fine documentary. You see enough of the horror to get it but unlike SPCA commercials, you can actually watch all the way through. The doctors are quite real and natural and if you don't always thank your lucky stars, you will after you see the really bad stuff going on in Africa.
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I am a big fan of MSF, and this DVD boosted my admiration all the more. It showed the doctors as dedicated but altogether human. If you want to know more about MSF before contributing to their support, this video documentary will give you the insight you need.
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By jaybone on October 22, 2011
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It really opened my eyes to what the real purppose of doctors w/out boarders is all about. I bought the video because I'd heard of them and want to go into the organization after nursing school, but with a little more sobriety now I suppose.
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