Those who cannot endure the sight of human suffering will be hard put to sit through this documentary portrait of a struggling, outdated, underfunded African hospital and the staff's almost futile battle to stem the tide of human disease, injuries and death. The underlying purpose of Thierry Michel's film is to expose the dilemmas faced by medicos who, due to the exorbitant expense of actual treatment, are usually only able to do diagnosis and prescribe medicine they know their impoverished patients will never be able to afford. Michel chose the five-story hospital in Donka, Guinea after checking out several other likely sites throughout the continent. As the scenarios are presented, Michel avoids cheap tricks for manipulating audience emotions such as the use of melodramatic music or tragic commentary in favor of letting the horror of the situations speak with their own unadorned and painful eloquence.
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