Neurosurgeon Henry Marsh faces life-or-death decisions on a daily basis. Removing a brain tumour from a stricken patient could save their life, but the risks of the procedure could also kill or handicap them. Testing enough to face this in a top London hospital but the ever-charming Marsh also helps out for free in the Ukraine, where the paucity of resources make the choices even starker. Made for the BBC’s ‘Storyville’ strand, this is one extraordinary documentary, approaching hugely emotive subject matter with nimble delicacy and, it has to be said, steely reserve when it comes to filming a brain operation performed under only local anaesthetic. A life-affirming, unforgettable portrait of a true humanitarian, it’s crying out for a proper cinema release.
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