Remote Area Medical
A documentary on the annual three-day “pop-up” medical clinic organized by the non-profit Remote Area Medical (RAM) in Bristol, Tennessee’s NASCAR speedway.
Certainly, Remote Area Medical has an empathetic heart. Sporting a backbone of a true story in its documentary format, the film seems more like an event to behold than a film to be consumed. We see the unfolding of hearts opening up when a medical team, in response to the healthcare crisis in the United States, provides aid on a race track to those who cannot afford it. We are opened up to the lives of these people, real life characters whose struggles are brought to the spotlight, and we are allowed for a period of time to feel their aches and oppression.Yet, somehow, the film doesn’t quite get deep enough under the fingernails. The directors seem to aim for a sensational documentary where, over the course of the film, we may feel like another character in need of attention. Said attention is not simply medical; the film is full of characters, layered with distinctive quirks and legitimate dreams. In a mysterious way, Remote Area Medical does let us get to know these people as well as we would like. It is a documentary so eager to show as the dark side that it does not take its time and let us, the audience, feel. There is even something standard in the film. A quote from the character, a shot of the natural surroundings, and repeat. I believe that the directors want to give the audience a sense of surrounding and turmoil. What it comes down to is that there is too much story and not enough organization in how to tell these stories properly. One hopes that, when viewing, someone else sees more heart in the actions of the film. Keeping in mind that there are a few medical images and mature content that younger viewers might not understand, Dove is proud to award the film with Approval for Ages 12+.