CategoryHealth, Human Rights, Society
Documentary, Colombia 2015
Runtime: 70 min. / 52 min.
Director: Jorge Caballero
Production: Gusano Films
A caring mother risks losing her daughter to an aggressive form of cancer. Observational and stripped of any sentimentality, Patient grows into a monumental indictment of the heartless bureaucracy that has Colombian health care in its grips. The camera films from three perspectives. One is a tripod at the end of a long white hospital corridor, a door to the right opening into the room where the daughter lies dying; we see cleaners mopping the floor and nurses and doctors going about their daily duties. The second follows the exhausted, limping mother, who time and again must trudge the endless corridors to pry life-saving medication from the system’s clutches, and spend hours in waiting rooms only to be sent back and forth once more. The third camera films the loving mother’s face in close-up, as she cares for her child, talks to her, moves her from place to place, or just keeps watch. And she does it day and night, because the system won’t provide for this kind of care. Director Jorge Caballero’s decision not to film the patient is an inspired one. Here, it’s the mother who’s the paciente. Yes, she’s a victim of the system, but first and foremost she’s a paragon of infinite patience who leaves everyone around her speechless.
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