Monday, April 23, 2012

Triage: Dr. James Orbinski's Humanitarian Dilemma (2008)

Patrick Reed


Documentarist Patrick Reed's Triage: Dr. James Orbinski's Humanitarian Dilemma creates a biographical portrait of Orbinski, former head of the non-governmental organization Doctors Without Borders and one of the most ardent social crusaders to work in Third World African countries during the late 20th century. Triage visits Dr. Orbinski at a point when this physician - amid the completion of his memoirs - returns to the countries of his life's work, including Rwanda, Somalia, and Congo, to evaluate the status quo in each locale. As memories of deplorable conditions and grave personal dangers come flooding back to haunt the physician, his current findings are even more sobering and challenging: today, the countries have worsened, elevating the need for social activism. Nevertheless, Orbinski feels encouraged by the individuals who continue to strive for improved conditions, and issues a not-so-subtle plea for westerners to assume social responsibility and become involved at all costs with alleviating the plight of their African neighbors.


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