The movie wasn't at all what I thought it would be. It wasn't uplifting, really, and it had very little resolution. (In fact, I'm grateful the excellent panel discussion provided some of the resolution I personally needed.) I'm glad I saw it, but it was difficult to watch. I'm a very, very sensitive person - oversensitive, for sure - and I was a mess for most of it. It's overwhelming in so many ways. Extreme human suffering is hard to watch and assimilate, and this showed the four doctors struggling in the most desperate of circumstances. In fact, one doctor and one seasoned war correspondent both said the mission to Liberia (that occurred during filming) was the last they were able to participate in. It was painful to watch all four doctors experience what on some level were definitely existential crises with no easy answers. But it was very worth seeing, and at the very minimum as humans we probably owe each other just listening to each others stories, even if they're hard. Especially if they're hard. The film should be required viewing.
It affected me in lots of ways but two specific ones I can identify: I think since having nephews I find it even more painful, if possible, to see children suffering. It's unbearable and impossible not to react. I saw their faces in the faces of the children in the movie. And also it makes me think about doing something more meaningful with my life. Last year at this time I was going through the multi-month process of applying for the Peace Corps, and was set to have my interview, the final step in the process, the week following my job loss last February. I didn't blog about it because it was so crazy and personal that I wanted to keep the peripheral noise to a minimum, and I hadn't decided whether or not I would have gone had I been accepted. However, I've always felt that I would do something like that at some point in my life. I was unable to watch the movie tonight without thinking about it. Emotional night.