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sujoy - The Spirit of Life

Mar. 9th, 2006 01:21 am The Spirit of Life

In Lokichoggio, Kenya, there is a field hospital where the will to live is stronger than the call of the death. War Hospital, a National Film Board of Canada documentary, provides a raw look into the life of an ICRC hospital filled with causalities of the conflict in neighbouring Sudan. This is a no-frills operation where alarms come not in the mechanical form but in the agonizing cry of a mother about to lose her oldest son.

There is a moment in the documentary, War Hospital, that saves it from being a cliche ridden one. You know the one where with death there is life, etc. It is the moment where women recovering from a VVF surgery to repair their womanhood lie on their makeshift hospital beds clapping in unison singing, "Spirit of life. That is our prayer." In this moment, you realize that although life is unstable for them outside of the hospital grounds, they still have the resolve to live.

The documentary is un-narrated and un-orchestrated, a conscious decision by the filmmakers so that all the audience can do is be immersed in the day-to-day sounds of the hospital. This allows us to reach our own conclusions about what life is really like for the patients and workers. For example, the civil war seems so distant as it appears to only plays out on news radio. The war doesn't consume the hospital; instead, it's the raison d'etre for it.

In the end, I am reminded how life is fleeting. But even in humanity's darkest hour, the spirit to live is still present.


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Date:March 9th, 2006 05:16 pm (UTC)
sounds interesting. v. deep.
good review!