International Competition

The English Surgeon

Geoffrey Smith

What is it like to have God like surgical powers, yet to struggle against your own humanity? What is it like to try and save a life, and yet to fail? Shot in a Ukrainian hospital full of desperate patients and makeshift equipment, ‘The English Surgeon’ is an intimate portrait of brain surgeon Henry Marsh as he wrestles with the dilemmas of the doctor patient relationship. With an original soundtrack by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, ‘The English Surgeon’ openly confronts moral and ethical issues which touch every one of us.

Geoffrey Smith

Geoffrey Smith was born in Melbourne. With his first documentary, the acclaimed ‘Searching for a Killer’ (1987), he told a dramatic personal story about traveling back to Haiti in search of the identity of the man who shot him while he was working on a film covering the Haitian election. Smith has continued this intimate approach to other subjects, directing and producing more than 22 films including ‘Your Life in Their Hands’ (2004), winner of the Royal Television Society Best Science Documentary award.

General sponsor

The English Surgeon

Great Britain, Ukraine
2007, 93', color, video

Directed by:
Geoffrey Smith

Graham Day

Edited by:
Kathy O'Shea

Nick Cave, Warren Ellis

Geoffrey Smith, Rachel Wexler

Produced by:
BBC, ITVS International

Festivals & Awards:

Hotdocs 2008 – Best international feature documentary; Silverdocs 2008 - Best international feature documentary; Shefield 2007 - Best international feature documentary