CODE BLACK, which deals with the young doctors who help run the Emergency Room of the the Los Angeles County Hospital, it looks like we've got (unless there's some Academy rule or other that I'm unaware of) a sure contender for a Best Documentary nomination, and very likely the winning film. This important and well-made movie doesn't simply show us these doctors at work, both saving and losing lives (which would already be enough to rivet us), it gives us the best demonstration imaginable for the need for decent health care across our nation, particularly in the emergency rooms that serve those who can least afford to pay for the kind of most expensive/least effective heath care our country has for so long insisted on providing.
Ryan McGarry (at right) -- himself one of these young doctors and also the director and co-writer of, as well as one of the cinematographers and "performers" in the film -- takes us into a place, the likes of which we may imagine we've seen (on a TV program such as ER) and shows it to us anew and from a perspective we have not, up to now, gotten anywhere near. The first thing you may notice is how incredibly crowded is this ER. I am not referring to the waiting room, which is also terribly crowded, but to the area the doctors call C Booth where much of the life-saving (and life-losing) takes place.
IFC Center, and next Friday, June 27, in Los Angeles at The Landmark. (There will be Q&As with director and his cast over opening weekends in both cities.) In the weeks and months to come, the film will play many cities across the country. To see all currently scheduled playdates, with cities and theaters listed, click here.