Triage is the ultimate humanitarian nightmare. Racing against
time with limited resources, relief workers make split-second
decisions: who gets treatment; who gets food; who lives; who dies.
This impossible dilemma understandably haunts humanitarians
like Dr. James Orbinski,
who accepted the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize
on behalf of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) as their President,
and was a field doctor during the Somali famine, the Rwandan
genocide, among other catastrophes.
Having seen the best and worst of humanitarian assistance and
of humanity itself, Orbinski embarks on his most difficult mission
to date—writing a deeply personal and controversial book that
struggles to make sense of it all.
Leaving his young family behind in Toronto, Canada—where
he’s a university professor and doctor—Orbinski returns to Africa,
revisiting the past and engaging with the present. He hopes that
here, in the place where he witnessed humanity literally torn apart,
he can rediscover the true heart of humanitarianism. In Triage,
a feature-length documentary, Orbinski travels to war-torn
Somalia, the first place he was posted with MSF in 1992; then to
Rwanda, where he was MSF Head of Mission during the 1994
genocide; finally to Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, where
it seems humanitarian dreams go to die.
Filmed in an intense verité style by the creative team behind the
award-winning documentary Shake Hands With the Devil, Triage
presents a unique view of the world through the penetrating eyes
of Orbinski. He refuses to turn away when confronting troubling
memories or realizing disturbing truths and, in the most unlikely of
places, he finds where bonds of solidarity are forged, and human
spirits remain unbroken.
Orbinski has seen lives saved and lives lost, and has personally
witnessed a world gone astray. In Triage, he searches for a new
path and invites the viewer to follow.
“Five Inspirational Stars to Orbinski, Reed, and Peter Raymont's company which has brought us Shake Hands with the Devil, Ariel Dorfman (A Promise to the Dead) and now this great stimuation on humanitarianism.”
-Peter Wintonick, POV Magazine