The Rebel Surgeon
Red Zone Paramedics is a documentary film about an ambulance crew working the night shift on New Years Eve in Mitchells Plain, an area of Cape Town with high levels of gang related violence. Long granular shots winding through darks streets while navigating the visceral complexities of delivering healthcare in a city of complex contradictions – this is a film about the everyday experiences of life on the road.
Malawian Obert Guys Phiri has been working for the Vulture Conservation Programme (VulPro) for ten years. Both he and Kerri Wolter, the founder and CEO, tell us about the organisation and the incredible work they do protecting and rehabilitating these incredible birds. A short film that is as uplifting as its title suggests.
This tenderly directed short film provides a portrait of Mozambican textile artist Lizette Chirrime, who was abused as a child. As part of her healing process, Chirrime started upcycling hessian sacks that are normally used for storing and transporting grain. As she stitched the beautifully decorated formerly discarded sacks, she was also stitching herself together: “I was not only recycling the sack – I was recycling myself”.
The lyrical opening sequence – hand washing, preparing for surgery – is almost balletic and belies what is to come. The surgeon, Dr Erik Erichsen and his wife, nurse Sennait, practise medicine on the frontline in the rural hospital of Aira in the desperately poor Ethiopian highlands. Here, there are just four doctors to 100,000 people, and resources are few. Unusual solutions must be found – bicycle spokes, fishing line, a household drill, hair clips all have their use in the surgery. Cutting between their sterile life at home in Sweden, and their life-changing work in Ethiopia, the film underlines the stark contrasts between Scandinavia and Africa. The problem, says the good doctor, is that the First World thinks it can’t learn anything from Africa. But he has discovered, while there may be a material poverty in Aira, there is a spiritual poverty in Sweden.
- V&A 6
- Sun 3 June / 8pm + Q&A
- Labia 1
- Thu 7 June / 8pm + Q&A
- Labia 3
- Sun 10 June / 6pm
- Tue 5 June / 6.45pm