The Waiting Room

Charles E. Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award 2012

NEW DOCS

Peter Nicks’s rigorous verité film spends twenty-four hours in an Oakland Emergency Room, his camera evenly maneuvering through the complex environment. A stoic nurse intercepts boisterous patients before they are admitted. A physician laments slow bed turnover; he can’t discharge his stabilized patient because it’s clear the man has nowhere else to go. A young couple faces expensive treatment without having insurance to cover the procedure. Methodically, Nicks’s steady lens peels back layers of frustration, imbalance, and tension; patients feel manipulated, physicians are overwhelmed, the system is exhausted. The film also records the mechanics of this ever-shifting space, admittance, beds, prescriptions, testing, discharge. Every move is pressurized by the burden of limited resources. The Waiting Room offers a portrait of contemporary healthcare, but the greater focus is the human beings who consistently feel its impact. This treatment is meant to be a last resort, yet for many it’s the first and only option.  ST

Director

Peter Nicks

Producer

Linda Davis, William B. Hirsch, Peter Nicks

Editor

Lawrence Lerew

Cinematographer

Peter Nicks

Release Year

2012

Festival Year

2012

Country

United States

Run Time

82 minutes

Premiere

World Premiere