Free of grandstanding and sentimentality, this powerful 2008 documentary follows missions to Liberia and the Congo undertaken by volunteers for Medecins Sans Frontieres, the French-founded, apolitical humanitarian organization. Director Mark Hopkins focuses on four doctors: a chain-smoking Australian; a retired Tennessean who has to overcome his fear of making mistakes; a young Indian-Australian who can't take the pressure; and their blunt, pragmatic Italian supervisor. They face a chronic shortage of supplies, severe and baffling casualties, language barriers, and local medical staffers who resent what they perceive as the imperiousness of the West. The good they accomplish is clearly dwarfed by the people's suffering, which keeps on going even after the war ends and the mission departs. In English and subtitled French.
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