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Film Captures Risky Work of Doctors Without Borders

This is the VOA Special English Development Report, from | "Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders" is a documentary film by director Mark Hopkins. It tells the story of four doctors and their volunteer work in Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.The award-winning film was first shown at the two thousand eight Venice Film Festival. It opened in the United States in June.Doctors Without Borders is a humanitarian organization also known by its French name, Medecins Sans Frontieres. It handles emergencies caused by war, infectious disease and natural disasters. The group says this was the first time it gave a documentary crew unrestricted access to its field operations. Mr. Hopkins and his crew filmed the doctors working under some of the most extreme and dangerous conditions imaginable. The director says "Living in Emergency" is a story about how things are, not how you wish things were. Dr. Tom Krueger from the United States volunteered in Liberia in two thousand three, after two civil wars. He said: "It was pretty much of a shock when I got here. You can't describe the smells, the feeling of the heat on your body and the sweat running down your back. The smell of the pus that hits your nose and of unwashed bodies in a closed room."Another doctor in the film, Australian Chris Brasheer, has been with Doctors Without Borders for nine years. He has served in the Democratic Republic of Congo and spent time in Liberia. He described some of the conditions he faced: "no water, no electricity, no food." Doctors Without Borders was established in nineteen seventy-one by doctors and journalists in France. Today, the group provides humanitarian medical aid in nearly sixty countries. On an average day almost twenty-seven thousand doctors, nurses and others work in teams of local and foreign aid workers.Dr. Chiara Lepora from Italy also appears in the film. She spent several years working with the group, and told VOA's Penelope Poulou that she will probably return. She said: "There are a lot of doctors who are willing to volunteer once, but not many doctors who are willing to repeat their experience." Doctors Without Borders has organizations in nineteen countries, including the United States. Ninety percent of its money comes from private sources. In nineteen ninety-nine the group received the Nobel Peace Prize. And that's the VOA Special English Development Report. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 26Jul2010)
Length: 04:00


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