Focus is trained on a succession of typical cases — a teenage girl felled by meningitis, an adult male burn victim. While their purview omits excessive gore, instance of 5-year-old boy with an infected throat wound (due to swallowing a fish bone) is tough to watch, particularly when the child is forcibly outfitted with a nostril I.V. tube. Most graphic is climactic seg when a woman undergoes a Caesarean birth, with fortunate consequences for both mother and offspring.
Out of context, staff might be considered hard-hearted, but we come to understand how a “new financial order” has rendered them all necessary cashiers in a system that can survive by providing service only for hard currency. Since most locals put off that financial doom until the last minute, trying every traditional-medicine and prayerful alternative first, hospitals like Donka become “a place where people are left to die.”
New facilities are being built, with upgraded equipment, at a cost no doubt huge to the government and its co-funders. Whether this will ultimately benefit the myriad poor is left unexamined. Steely heroism of the resident medicos, however, is clear. They function as well as they can. Docu doesn’t lay on tragic music or commentary to make its point — there’s no need to manipulate our emotions here.
Tech aspects are adequate, English proffered in both subtitling of dialogue (French and Malinke) and in overall narration.