Part of our One Hit Wonders series, showcasing great new documentaries at special one-night-only screenings!
Post film discussion with the Public Health Alliance at the University of Arizona, featuring Arthur B. Sanders, MD, MHA, professor in the Dept. of Emergency Medicine at the UA College of Medicine, and ER doctor at UMC!
“NYT CRITICS PICK! It confronts you head-on.” – Stephen Holden, New York Times
“Engrossing! Every bit as involving, funny, gut-wrenching and tragic as any episode of Grey’s Anatomy, House or Nurse Jackie … it should also be required viewing by the Supreme Court.” – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
“To watch The Waiting Room is to wish it would never end. This is human drama at its most intense and universal.” – Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
The riveting vérité-style documentary The Waiting Room was filmed over 24 hours at Highland Hospital in Oakland, CA, where uninsured patients needing medical attention come to the ER of the nearly-overwhelmed hospital and wait to be seen. 241 patients in 24 hours. Dramatic, funny and often-infuriating, the film shows, with unusually candid access, the inner workings of an ER close to the breaking point. We see not only the doctors and nurses, but also the feisty head receptionist (a real scene-stealer) in charge of keeping order in the waiting room, and back office staff trying to schedule the overloaded examination rooms and beds - and of course the wide variety of patients and their families - scared, angry, philosophical, caring, dignified. This cinematic spotlight on what's gone wrong with the American health care system is sure to provoke debate, yet its portrait of the dedicated efforts of the extraordinary caregivers trying to treat their patients humanely and competently under the most difficult of circumstances is also profoundly inspiring. (Dir. by Peter Nicks, 2012, USA, 81 mins., Not Rated, International Film Circuit) Digital