Friday, July 25, 2014

Hospital Documentary, ‘Code Black’ is Intriguing

Review of the documentary, "Code Black."
Dr. Ryan McGarry comforts a patient in "Code Black."
Running at just 82 minutes in length, the hospital documentary, “Code Black” is already getting the attention it deserves. Unlike other documentaries, “Code Black” is at times interesting, sobering and frustrating, but never is it dull. During the film festival circuit, the movie has received numerous awards including Best Documentary Feature (Los Angeles Film Festival and Hamptons International Film Festival), the Audience Award (Aspen FilmFest) and the People’s Choice Award (Starz Denver Film Festival).


Physician-turned filmmaker, Ryan McGarry escorts viewers through Los Angeles County Hospital, home of America’s busiest Emergency Department. The “stars” of the movie are fellow residents who thrive at their jobs but are also frustrated by the limitations of it. The bulk of their training has come from working in the “C-Booth,” a trauma bay and “birthplace” of Emergency Medicine in general. Each of them takes a turn in front of the camera to describe details of their job and their life in general. One has lost a father to Alzheimer’s; another personally had stage 4 cancer, but was cued. Some of the footage shows the doctors in action. They are students in their fourth year ready to embark into medicine full time.