Short Takes: "The Waiting Room"

| Mon Sep. 24, 2012 6:00 AM EDT

The Waiting Room

OPEN'HOOD INC.

81 minutes

This engrossing, fly-on-the-wall documentary captures the faults of our health care system through the eyes of ER patients and staff at the public Highland Hospital in Oakland, California. Moving beyond grim statistics and talking heads, filmmaker Peter Nicks delivers an intimate look at what it really means to be uninsured in America. The patients' stories, notably the narrative of a young man with painful testicular cancer who found himself turned away by a private hospital, are beautifully interwoven, and the film's brutal honesty in matters of life and death strikes an emotional chord.

This review originally appeared in our September/October issue of Mother Jones.

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