Hippocrate / Hippocrates, Diary of a French Doctor

Like an episode of ER directed by the Dardenne brothers, Hippocrates combines the human drama that surrounds medical emergencies with a hard-hitting
look at the situation of beleaguered French hospitals. Using young medical
student Benjamin (played by rising star Vincent Lacoste) as a guide, director
Thomas Lilti, himself a doctor by trade, takes the viewer on a “backstage” tour
of a labyrinthine Paris hospital where life and death decisions make fuses
run short. For his first internship, timorous Benjamin is assigned to the floor
run by his father. Here, he meets Abdel (Reda Kateb), an older, idealistic intern
who already practices medicine in his native Algeria but must be accredited in
France to make a better life for his family. When Benjamin’s negligence leads
to the death of a homeless patient, the two doctors clash and questions of
privilege arise. But they discover their shared values when they go against
the system to grant a terminally ill elderly patient’s last wishes. While the
film provides fascinating insight into the particularities of the French medical
complex—particularly in the dingy world of the doctors’ quarters, where one
marvels at the traditional bawdy murals and gallows humor—it remains
etched in the viewer’s mind for its candid and sometimes surprisingly funny
way of raising universal questions of human dignity and empathy.

Thomas Lilti

Thomas Lilti, Baya Kasmi, Pierre Chosson, Julien Lilti

Vincent Lacoste
Reda Kateb
Jacques Gamblin

102 min.
France, 2014
Blu-ray, DCP, DVD

Distrib Films US