Any given day, an army of more than 27,000 doctors, nurses, technicians and administrators are risking their lives to provide medical treatment to 60 countries in catastrophe throughout the world.
A documentary film titled "Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders" follows four of those doctors who face armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition and natural disasters while delivering high-quality care to people in Congo and Liberia.
The documentary offers a previously unseen look into the lives of members of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders, following a 26-year-old Australian doctor in a remote bush clinic, an American surgeon working on emergency cases, an experienced doctor who works as the head of the mission and a veteran who is ready to retire.
"The film really captures a world that is hidden from view — not because it's a secret, but because it is inaccessible," said Brigg Reilley, an epidemiologist working in Albuquerque, N.M., who has worked for Doctors Without Borders since 1996 in countries such as Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka.
Reilley said that people often hear something about refugees in one country or political turmoil in another, but "Living in Emergency" fills in the gaps, showing the day-to-day interactions of how people work together to solve these issues.
Though Reilley was not filmed for the documentary, he said the experiences of the four doctors resonate with his own feelings of frustration and rewards while on the job.
"The experience is very extreme ?— you're either very high or very low," Reilley said.
Still, the rewards pay off in the end, Reilley said.
"There's this sense of realization that this is why you went to school in the first place — so you can go where the needs are the greatest," he said.
And as a politically neutral, independent organization, Doctors Without Borders aims to operate in keeping with medical ethics and free from any political, military or religious agenda.
For one night, a screening of "Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders" will air in seven theaters throughout Utah.
The screening will be followed by a live town hall discussion broadcast from New York City, featuring ABC news anchor Elizabeth Vargas, author Sebastian Junger, Doctors Without Borders executive director Sophie Delaunay, and Dr. Tom Krueger from the film.
The documentary will show on Dec. 14 at 5:30 p.m. in Layton, Midvale, Ogden, Orem, Provo, Salt Lake City and West Jordan.
For theater locations and more information, visit www.FathomEvents.com.
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