Directed by Thomas Lilti • Documentary • With Vincent Lacoste, Jacques Gamblin, Reda Kateb • 2015 • 101 minutes
HIPPOCRATES: DIARY OF A FRENCH DOCTOR is a darkly comic portrait of a Paris hospital as seen through the eyes of a young intern, Benjamin, played by Vincent Lacoste (Eden), who begins his internship at the hospital ward run by his father. Confident and determined that he will quickly become a successful doctor, Vincent soon realizes that the reality of the medical world is a lot grimmer than what he had imagined. He is also overshadowed by his co-junior partner Abdel, a foreign doctor, played by Reda Kateb (Lost River, Zero Dark Thirty) who’s obviously more competent than he is but who’s forced to work as an intern because of his immigrant status. When Vincent makes a medical error, his father quickly covers it up but Abdel is not fooled.
A charming counterpoint to shows like Grey’s Anatomy and House, HIPPOCRATES: DIARY OF A FRENCH DOCTOR is framed as a rite of passage set against a social backdrop and offers an ultra-realistic vision of the French public medical system. Directed by Thomas Lilti, a doctor himself, the film screened at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, was a box-office hit in its native France and earned Reda Kateb a César for best supporting actor.
“Outstanding!” —The New York Times
“Candid and enthralling... a daringly cynical cinematic achievement... splendid performances.” —Film Journal