Uchicago’s GlobeMed RSO held its first ever Global Health Film Festival on Saturday, opening with The English Surgeon. As the title suggests, the film centers on a surgeon from England named Henry Marsh who travels to Ukraine to improve the quality of their surgery. Dr. Marsh faces struggles at every corner as the film traces both the successes and the inevitable failures that come with life as a surgeon. Set against the bleak backdrop of an impoverished Ukraine, the film presents a poignant portrait of Dr. Marsh’s life.
In a Q&A session after the film, director Geoffrey Smith called The English Surgeon, a “moral tale” that is “not about medicine,” but rather about “one man’s struggle to do good things.” He explained how Dr. Marsh’s ability to be vulnerable that made him a perfect subject for a documentary, calling him “more of an artist than a surgeon” as the film ultimately shows not only his work, but his human side, and his fallibility.
By Kevin Barnum