The Waiting Room is a riveting day in the life of an Oakland, California, public hospital s overtaxed emergency room. The film expertly weaves the stories of several patients most of them uninsured who come to the inner-city facility because they have nowhere else to go. Extraordinary access to patients and caregivers paints a vivid picture of the ailing state of America s health care system. A ballsy nurse, an anxious father, a drugged out serial patient and a small group of other memorable characters do a far better job conveying the urgent need to address the inequalities rampant in the system than do talking-head experts. And while the film is a reflection on the dysfunctional system as a whole, it s equally about one hospital, one community and how our common vulnerability to illness binds us together as humans.
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