By Juana Suarez, @cinembargo
Jorge Caballero's Paciente / Patient (2016) follows the story of Nubia as she moves through the maze of Colombian health care system in an effort to provide services for her daughter Leidy, a young cancer patient. The title of the documentary refers both to Leidy´s condition and to the patient tenacity her mother must demonstrate to guarantee dignity in the treatment to her daughter. Through these women´s case, Paciente tells the story of thousands of Colombians who are trapped in an inefficient Kafkaesque network of “EPS” (Empresas Promotoras de Salud), acronym for Colombian HMOs.
Paciente results from painstaking observation and elaborated cinematographic work where the filmmaker offers a minimalist portrayal, yet effective, that privileges an ethical approach to the issue. The documentary is part of a larger transmedia storytelling project, made up of 9 shorts by other Colombian filmmakers, an interactive documentary (Impaciente) and a digital book. The project pursues a new kind of social activism, promoting education about the health system and proactive reaction to specific situations. Paciente is a touching document, set in the Colombian context but extensive to a debate on health as a human, social and collective right.
The film is premiering in New York this week as part of the Havana Film Festival New York with the presence of the filmmaker.