Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Review: Today We Saw the Face of God

This little documentary tells the story of the final day of a medical team visiting Haiti to provide regular medical care to villagers near Port au Prince. Just as they are ready to leave, the catastrophic 2010 earthquake happens and they are thrust into the center of the disaster.

I enjoyed the way this documentary didn't only focus the medical team's experiences after the earthquake but also gave us a good idea of what it  was like beforehand. We got to see the Haitians as regular people, coming for medical treatment in everyday life. We also got to know the mission team members a bit as they told about their reactions to Haiti before the disaster. This made the impact of their story afterward all the more interesting.

I have to say that for a movie with the title "Today We Saw the Face of God," there was remarkably little talk about faith in the film. That was rather surprising and led to a bit of a shallower feel than I'd have expected. Why were these people moved to make the medical mission? It seemed clear from remarks made at the end that they were moved by their faith but we were left to put that together ourselves. There were some other moments where we were left to connect of the dots ourselves more than I'd have liked also, most of them seeming to do with faith.

Those quibbles aside, the documentary is worth watching as this team seemed to be the only stopgap in place before the emergency teams got to the island after the disaster. It is a view into a situation that is blessedly unimaginable for most of us.

This is a documentary that Rose, our youngest daughter, edited when she was a senior in film school. I don't think it swayed my reaction. But there's always that possibility.

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