The English Surgeon (2009)
Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 18
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 3,584
"The English Surgeon" is the true-life tale of Henry Marsh, a London neurosurgeon who travels to Ukraine to treat desperate patients with no access to modern medical facilities. Marsh is one of London's foremost brain surgeons, a phlegmatic, philosophical man with no illusions about the nature of his work. On a trip to Kiev to give a lecture in 1992, Marsh was shocked to witness the plight of those with severe neurological problems there -- a ghastly world of primitive clinics, Kafkaesque
Jul 31, 2009 Limited
Nov 3, 2009
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Some will feel privileged to see human drama and an aspect of life not often seen on the movie screen. Others will feel haunted by it and wish they never saw it. For sure, few will leave the film unaffected.
Like Marsh, the filmmaker has taken a sort of triage approach to telling the tale, with near-perfect pacing as he moves between Marsh, the patients, and Marsh's wonderful Ukrainian colleague, neurosurgeon Igor Kurilets.
Why see such a difficult film? For the same reason Smith made it: There is great beauty in watching one heroic soul insist that he can improve upon a cruel and complex world.
[Director] Smith seems intent on turning Marsh into a folk hero. That's fine, I suppose, although it would have been informative to take a closer look at Ukraine's medical nightmare -- its causes and its prognosis.
Henry Marsh is a British brain surgeon whose humanity and talent with power drills make him an uncommonly enthralling linchpin.
A provocative, taut and compelling documentary that's concurrently disturbing and profoundly moving.
As with Marsh, the state of Ukrainian medicine, and his topic's underlying issues of morality and mercy, director Smith merely presents them in all their heartrending complexity.
Good to know that there are still doctors around who do not spend all their waking hours thinking of $$$. (OK, maybe only in England, but that's a start.)
An edge-of-your seat documentary from Geoffrey Smith about a British physician who has done pro bono work in Ukraine for 15 years.
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