An MSF doctor shares a tender moment with a Congolese child. *Photo supplied
An MSF doctor shares a tender moment with a Congolese child. *Photo supplied
Living in Emergency *****

Director: Mark Hopkins
Country: French with English subtitles
Runtime: 94 minutes

This documentary does not make easy viewing. It shows people at their most vulnerable in lands where little help is at hand.

We see injuries that have been left to fester, diseases that should have been treated years ago and people on the brink of death. Welcome to the lives of Medicins San Frontieres, doctors who fly to war-ravaged countries and countries plagued with disease and famine to practise with the most limited of resources. Living in Emergencies mainly focuses on the Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia where the hospitals have been deserted.

MSF has a presence in 70 countries and has 20,000 local staff working alongside hired staff.

For some, this may be the first doctor these people have seen in more than 20 years.

“My grandfather would have felt more at home practising here” says one of the doctors, because the conditions and equipment are so limited.

“Everything is supersized in terms of severity. We see things that should have been treated ten years ago. Everyone is sicker, what you can do is greater – life by life, person by person.”

It is an informative, honest account of the work of MSF laying bare the challenges they face and never fearing to expose the flaws within the organization.

It’s one not to be missed.

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