Hippocrates: Diary of a French Doctor | Chicago Reader

Hippocrates: Diary of a French Doctor

This satirical treatment of bungling and bureaucracy in a French hospital owes an obvious debt to Paddy Chayefsky's screenplay for The Hospital (1971), yet director Thomas Lilti also draws on his own experience as a primary-care physician (and even shot this in the hospital where he once worked). Lilti focuses on two new interns, one (Vincent Lacoste) the privileged but incompetent son of a powerful hospital administrator, the other (Reda Kateb) an experienced Algerian MD forced to start at the bottom again in France; these two begin as nemeses but eventually join forces against the bean counters who compromise the care and comfort of the patients. The movie's institutional politics are fairly pat, though the fear, suffering, and helplessness of the individual patients and their family members are rendered so concretely that the moral imperative is impossible to overlook. In French with subtitles.

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