The Waiting Room is a character-driven documentary film that uses extraordinary access to go behind the doors of an American public hospital struggling to care for a community of largely uninsured patients. The film – using a blend of cinema verité and characters’ voiceover – offers a raw, intimate, and even uplifting look at how patients, staff and caregivers each cope with disease, bureaucracy and hard choices.
The ER waiting room serves as the grounding point for the film, capturing in vivid detail what it means for millions of Americans to live without health insurance. Young victims of gun violence take their turn alongside artists and small business owners who lack insurance. Steel workers, taxi cab drivers and international asylum seekers crowd the halls. The film weaves the stories of several patients – as well as the hospital staff charged with caring for them – as they cope with the complexity of the nation’s public health care system, while weathering the storm of a national recession.
Director Peter Nicks graduated from UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism in 1999. Aside from The Waiting Room, he has also directed Fruitvale Station and The Force, which won him the Sundance Directing Award for U.S. Documentary. Much of his work is centered around Oakland and the Bay Area in general, which makes its content particularly relevant for us Berkeley students.
We plan to screen the documentary and then open up the floor for questions from the audience. Food will be provided!
RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-screening-of-the-waiting-room-with-director-peter-nicks-tickets-34038960447