The Waiting Room

The 2012 election made health care a prominent campaign issue. Laws which mandate that hospital emergency rooms provide care to all patients regardless of capacity to pay were presented as an important reason that the Affordable Care Act was unnecessary. Peter Nicks and his crew had extraordinary access to patients and staff in an emergency room and followed them for 24 hours to see how well emergency room-based care was working. The Waiting Room shows a public hospital in Oakland, California, struggling to care for a community of largely uninsured patients. The film—using a blend of cinema verité and characters’ voice-overs—offers a raw, intimate, and even heroic look at how patients, executive staff, and caregivers each cope with disease, bureaucratic barriers, and hard choices. It is a film about fighting for survival when the odds are stacked against you. “Scrupulously apolitical, The Waiting Room is the opposite of a polemic like Michael Moore’s Sicko. But by removing any editorial screen, it confronts you head-on with human suffering that a more humane and equitable system might help alleviate.”—Stephen Holden, New York Times (Critics’ Pick). “The Waiting Room doesn’t simply shed light on a broken healthcare system; like the best dramas, it humbly illuminates the human condition.”—Washington City Paper. Panel discussion will follow the screening. Unrated. 81 minutes.

Full passes ($36)–admission to all 6 MIFF in the Morning films–and individual Tickets ($8) can be purchased online at http://miff.org/ Full passes are available at Railroad Square Cinema.

The Maine International Film Festival’s MIFF in the Morning is a winter film series featuring a diverse selection of American independent and international documentary and narrative films. Screenings are on designated Saturday and Sunday mornings in January, February and March at Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville.  For more information call 207-873-4021.

MIFF in the Morning is presented by Maine Film Center, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to enrich, educate, and entertain the community through film and art. Maine Film Center also presents the Maine International Film Festival (MIFF) in July and recently announced its purchase of Railroad Square Cinema.

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