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Trailer: The Waiting Room

What are you thinking about as you sit in the waiting room of your local hospital?

What are you feeling? Fear that you won’t be able to afford treatment? Trust in the medical staff that are working to cure what ails you? Anger at a system that lets so many fall through the cracks? Relief that you have a safety net of family or friends to catch you? Pain? Faith? Hope? Frustration?

In this short video, a father with three young sons talks about his family’s precarious financial situation, his hopes and fears, and gratitude for those who are keeping him afloat—all as he waits at Highland Hospital for his wife to receive treatment they couldn’t afford elsewhere.

The Waiting Room is a social media / documentary hybrid that tells the story of a county “safety net” hospital in Oakland, California. This California Humanities’ California Documentary Project is based on the premise that the expression and sharing of story—of thoughts and feelings—is beneficial to patients and caregivers and to us all as a society.

The Waiting Room comprises four main components: a feature-length cinema verité documentary film, a video blog, an interactive hospital waiting room story booth that captures first-person stories recorded by the patients and hospital staff, and short webisodes. This excerpt is just one piece of the project. To see more, click on the “visit website” link below.

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Documenting California

Since 2003, we have made over 250 grants and awarded nearly $6.5 million through the California Documentary Project grant program to humanities-based media projects.