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Review: Living In Emergency

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Photo courtesy Medecins Sans Frontieres.

There are entire populations in this world that you simply cannot imagine. Not because their culture is so different or their location so astounding; rather, just because they are alive. On CNN or MSNBC or the Drudge Report or the Huffington Post, numbers get thrown around about ‘displaced people’ or ‘war-torn populations’. Numbers that (objectively) are big, but also too unwieldy; they cease to have any real context at a certain point because it’s just really, really hard to imagine suffering on such a massive scale. But the numbers are real, and there are people - unimaginable survivors - behind those numbers that simply cannot be ignored or bound by legalese and theoretical direction. There is an absolute need for someone, anyone, to step in and get their hands dirty. Enter MSF.

Medecins Sans Frontieres (known colloquially as Doctors Without Borders, or MSF) has been working since 1971 in some of the most war-torn, impoverished, and generally inhospitable places across the world. Annually they help ten million people, many of whom would have no medical recourse otherwise. These are the diseased, the embattled, the sick and the frightened, and MSF is there to help them all. And now, after nearly 40 years of secular humanitarian work as a Non-Governmental Organization, they’ve let cameras in to see just how tough the job really is. The result is the stunning documentary Living In Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders.