|On Sunday, July 26th, Henry Marsh, subject of the film THE ENGLISH SURGEON, and director Geoffrey Smith will hold a Q&A after the 6:30pm show.
Geoffrey Smith’s award-winning documentary THE ENGLISH SURGEON is the true-life tale of Henry Marsh, one of London’s foremost brain surgeons, a phlegmatic, philosophical man with no illusions about the nature of his work. “When push comes to shove we can afford to lose an arm or a leg, but I am operating on people’s thoughts and feelings...and if something goes wrong I can destroy that person’s character…forever.”
On a trip to Kiev to give a lecture in 1992, Marsh was shocked to witness the plight of those with severe neurological problems there – a ghastly world of primitive clinics, Kafkaesque bureaucracy, and medieval surgery – and began making regular trips back to diagnose patients and perform operations whenever possible.
Award-winning filmmaker Geoffrey Smith followed Marsh on one of these trips in 2007, plunging into the chaos of the quest to see and save as many patients as possible. As the Ukrainian winter whirls around them, Marsh and his maverick Ukrainian counterpart, neurosurgeon Igor Kurilets, work around the clock to get through the endless lines of people who look upon Marsh as their last hope.
Featuring a doleful, evocative soundtrack by internationally acclaimed musicians Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, THE ENGLISH SURGEON is a tense medical thriller as well a meditation on mortality and the struggle to find meaning in life.
WINNER - Best International Feature Documentary - Silverdocs
WINNER - Best International Feature Documentary - Hotdocs
"Enthralling, astonishing...agonizingly human."
New York Times
"A lovely film, the best documentary for a long time."
"Deeply touching, resonant...and very funny."
"One triumph that you should not miss."
“This is one extraordinary documentary, approaching hugely emotive subject matter with nimble delicacy and, it has to be said, steely reserve when it comes to filming a brain operation performed under only local anaesthetic. A life-affirming, unforgettable portrait of a true humanitarian.”
Time Out London