Nikolaus Geyrhalter / Austria / 2013 / 75 min.
In statically composed shots of individual floors, departments, operating rooms and life situations ranging from birth to death, renowned director Nikolaus Geyrhalter carries out a detailed exploration of Donauspital in Vienna. He is a detached observer of the goings-on in one of Europe’s largest hospitals, and of its systems, technologies and everyday routines. While the film avoids action-style “emergency” scenes, it succeeds in captivating the viewer through its fascination with futuristic devices and robots; insights into places the healthy never visit; and brief distractions provided by low-key moments of humour, such as when a doctor chats about good restaurants while carrying out an operation. Only these small moments make it clear that Western European healthcare is something more than a system of technologies, standards and processes for producing health.