Tuesday, April 4, 5:30pm
COED 010, UNC Charlotte Main Campus
Director Thomas Lilti
France, 2014, 101 min.
French with English subtitles
Presented as part of The Tournées Festival, which was made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the US, the Centre National de la Cinématographie et de l’Image Animée, and the Franco-American Cultural Fund.
Additional sponsors are the Alliance Française de Charlotte and the UNC Charlotte French Club.
Introduction by TBA. Discussion will follow screening.
Like an episode of ER directed by the Dardenne brothers, Hippocrates combines the human drama that surrounds medical emergencies with a hard-hitting look at the situation of beleaguered French hospitals. Using young medical student Benjamin (played by rising star Vincent Lacoste) as a guide, director Thomas Lilti, himself a doctor by trade, takes the viewer on a “backstage” tour of a labyrinthine Paris hospital where life and death decisions make fuses run short. For his first internship, timorous Benjamin is assigned to the floor run by his father. Here, he meets Abdel (Reda Kateb), an older, idealistic intern who already practices medicine in his native Algeria but must be accredited in France to make a better life for his family. When Benjamin’s negligence leads to the death of a homeless patient, the two doctors clash and questions of privilege arise. But they discover their shared values when they go against the system to grant a terminally ill elderly patient’s last wishes. While the film provides fascinating insight into the particularities of the French medical complex—particularly in the dingy world of the doctors’ quarters, where one marvels at the traditional bawdy murals and gallows humor—it remains etched in the viewer’s mind for its candid and sometimes surprisingly funny way of raising universal questions of human dignity and empathy.