Film Review Sample Paper on The Waiting Room
The film of focus in this paper is The Waiting Room, directed by Peter Nicks and released in 2012. The film adopts the format of a documentary following the experiences and lives of physicians, patients, and staff at Highland Hospital, which is a safety-net healthcare facility in Oakland, California (NPR para.1-2). A safety-net facility is one that offers healthcare for society members irrespective of their ability to pay or insurance status, based on its stated mission or legal obligation. The film confronts the audience with human suffering in a raw manner and the bureaucratic environment of a system of healthcare with stretched resources. I liked this film for its provision of a raw, intimate and inspiring view of caregiving professionals, patients, and healthcare staff as they cope with bureaucracy, hard choices, and diseases.
As noted above, the film is essentially a documentary that follows the times and lives of physicians, patients, caregivers, and staff at the Highland Hospital in California. It features a blog section with conversations and stories from the waiting room and information from behind the scenes concerning the project. The focus of the film is to explore the nature of life in an American public healthcare facility that caters for a community of patients largely without insurance (Holden para.1-2). In particular, the film focuses on a group of 10 patients as they navigate through the bureaucracy of a system of healthcare with stretched resources. It portrays the calmness of healthcare staff as they confront the fears, anger, and desperation of a continuing stream of patients in severe need of medical attention (Holden para.4-5). These include a recently discharged fragile patient who is apparently unable to fend for herself, a student with testicular cancer whom a private hospital has rejected and denied a scheduled operation for lack of insurance, and an angry dialysis patient who feels ready to remove his chest catheter and die rather than face the bureaucratic obstacles each time he visits.
The film is a wrenching documentary that confronts the audience directly with raw human suffering. The documentary is especially remarkable because a system or facility of healthcare that is more equitable and humane would be more effective in alleviating such a level of suffering. The director employs a blend of character voiceovers and improvised camera use in the film to highlight the crude reality of subjects as they suffer from disease and health conditions or struggle to meet the dire needs of different patients at the same time. In this context, the film’s principal theme is the suffering of uninsured patients in a facility of care with stretched resources. The principal purpose in the movie is to contribute to the debate on healthcare and its provision and quality in poor communities across the U.S. that lack insurance.
The film’s portrayal of the intimate and raw experiences of healthcare staff, physicians, and patients as they cope with hard choices, disease, and bureaucracy is especially appealing. The setting in the movie is a real hospital in California, with the film depicting the realistic experiences of uninsured patients as they struggle to obtain healthcare help and healthcare staff as they struggle with stretched resources to meet these demands. These features in the film make it highly illustrative of the reality in poor communities across America and the problems that uninsured patients face in the effort to meet their health needs.
The discussion above illustrates that The Waiting Room offers a view of caregiving professionals, patients, and healthcare staff as they cope with bureaucracy, hard choices, and disease. This portrayal is inspiring because of its intimate and raw nature, with the director employing a blend of character voiceovers and improvised camera use to highlight the crude reality of subjects. The film is significant for its contribution to the debate on healthcare and its quality and provision in poor, uninsured communities across America. The film is a must-see because of its depiction of the crude reality of subjects as they suffer from disease and health conditions or struggle to meet the dire needs of different patients at the same time.
“Healthcare meets Humanity in The Waiting Room”. NPR, September 26, 2012.
Holden, Stephen. A Place of Desperation, where both Patients and Patience are tested. The New York Times, September 25, 2012.