Akira Kurosawa / Japanese with English subtitles
This movie is about the story of a recent medical graduate assigned to a rural clinic for his post-graduate medical training. He is quite arrogant, being livid that he, who aspires to join the team of physicians caring for the Japanese Army, should have to train in a poor clinic serving the impoverished local population. There he meets the clinic director, known as 'Red Beard', a demanding taskmaster with a brusque manner but intense devotion to his patients. The attractiveness of the true meaning of the medical profession provokes an unforeseen radical change in the young doctor.
St. Giuseppe Moscati: Doctor to the Poor
Giacomo Campiotti / Italian with English subtitles
This is the story of a man who lived his everyday life as a Christian among the struggles of the poor of Naples in the early 20th Century. Giuseppe Moscati was a physician, scientist, and professor of medicine who tells his students “Not science, rather Charity changes the word”. He dedicated himself tirelessly to caring for the sick and forsaken, ultimately devoting all of his possessions and sacrificing his very life in their service.
La donation (The Legacy)
Bernard Emond / French with English subtitles
Jeanne Dion, an emergency room doctor from Montreal, is asked to replace an aging colleague in a small town a few hundred miles north of her city. What is meant to be a short professional assignment for Jeanne turns into a journey with no definite end, as her colleague dies, leaving the town with no permanent doctor. Jeanne must decide what she will do. One thing is definite: Jeanne has changed with this journey. In this isolated town in a beautiful northern setting, she acquires a new gaze on her patients and her profession. Those patients are no longer just that, patients, but human beings living their individual dramas. There is the young teenager who is pregnant and wants an abortion, the mother dying of cancer, abandoned by her husband and uncertain of her children's future, and her colleague facing his imminent death. Jeanne understands that she has been called to accompany these people in the same way that she is accompanied by them.
Vivian Bearing is a leading scholar of John Donne, an exacting English professor, merciless in her pursuit of excellence. She has late stage ovarian cancer and agrees to undergo experimental treatments. The members of the medical team that is following her case are, like her, relentless in their research, doing their all to advance knowledge. Vivian, the great researcher, has become the object of research and she sees life from a new angle. That is it, life! Her very name, Vivian Bearing, is apposite, for she carries life. She understands that it is not the cancer but the treatments that are now causing her death. Yet now she simply wants to live the warmth of human kindness, as she revisits her life, with regret for her lack of warmth and understanding, yet with a new appreciation of what ultimately matters, not her research but life. She once understood John Donne's poem, "Death be Not Proud", with the meticulous, distant "objectivity" of a scholar. Through her experience those words and their meaning become truly hers: "And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die."
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
This is a biographical drama based on the memoir of Jean-Dominique Bauby. The movie depicts Bauby's life after suffering a massive stroke, at the age of 42, which left him with a condition known as locked-in syndrome. Although aware and alert, this condition paralyzed him completely. He was left with only his left eye and the only way that he could communicate was by blinking his left eyelid. The director depicts with such a delicacy the dramatic situation of this man, without censuring his pain and struggle. The movie is also precious for the richness of the various figures around the protagonist. Each one of them, with their fragile humanity, accompanies him, witnessing the fact that the value of life counts more than being healthy and being successful.