Living in Emergency

living in emergency movie reviewIf you didn't know this about me already, I love to read and watch movies. I am currently in the middle of three books but this post is about an amazing documentary I just watched. Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders came out a few years ago, but I never saw it in theaters. In fact, it was quite difficult to find a copy. I really think this film better informs viewers about real-life medical mission trips (better than the internet or any book could at least!). As the common saying goes; "A picture tells a thousand words." Living in Emergency follows 4 different volunteers (2 newbies and 2 veterans) in various locale in Africa. You can definitely tell that volunteering for MSF is not filled with rainbows and unicorns; it paints a stark picture about the reality of one of my life-long dreams. The physicians look tired, and somewhat jaded to the world. The patients are really sick, and treatment options are extremely limited from supply constraints. I think that some of the volunteers wonder if they are even making a difference or just putting a bandaid on a gaping gunshot wound. The film itself can be hard to watch (I initially watched it in two separate segments), but if MSF is something you are interested in doing than you have to see it.

There are no major plot twists to give away. I walked away with a new awareness and opinion about MSF. I think it takes a special type of person to be able to commit 6 months of their life to an organization and travel thousands of miles away from friends and family to potentially dangerous situations. The film made me appreciate the healthcare that I receive in the United States, and washed away some of my naiveté. It is highly rated movie on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB, and definitely worth watching.