The Waiting Room

Trailer (2:16)
Clip 1 (4:54)
Clip 2 (3:54)
  • Independent Spirit Awards - Truer Than Fiction Award
  • Full Frame Documentary Film Festival - Charles E. Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award
  • San Francisco International Film Festival - Golden Gate Award
  • About the Film

    Close-up of a male ER patient seated in front of a vital signs monitor.

    The Waiting Room intimately follows several people who pass through the emergency room of Highland Hospital in East Oakland, CA. Shot over several months and with a poignant mix of humor and drama, the film presents a composite portrait of a public institution struggling to care for a persistent and growing stream of patients living on the fringes of America's health care system.

    More >>

    Check TV listings >>

  • Interview with Filmmaker Peter Nicks

    Filmmaker Peter Nicks filming the ER doctor on call at Highland Hospital in The Waiting Room

    In an exclusive interview for Independent Lens, The Waiting Room director Peter Nicks took the time out from his busy schedule to chat with us about the logistical challenges of shooting a film in a busy hospital, the real-life human dramas that unfolded, and his own experiences with health care.

    Read more on the IL blog >>

  • The Waiting Room Bonus Videos: More People, More Perspectives

    Filmmaker Peter Nicks filming the ER doctor on call at Highland Hospital in The Waiting Room

    A collection of bonus clips via The Waiting Room filmmaker Peter Nicks and his "Storytelling Project," featuring more hospital staff and patients on their experiences with health and health care.

    Watch online >>

  • Short Film Spotlight

    Anna Deavere Smith

    Also airing with The Waiting Room is an excerpt from Let Me Down Easy. Noted playwright and performer Anna Deavere Smith reenacts stories told to her by an eclectic group of people about the frailty of the human body, ranging from coping with an uncertain future in today’s medical establishment to confronting end of life transition.

  • Talkback

    Overhead view of the busy emergency room wating area.

    What are your own waiting room experiences? How do you relate to the patients portrayed in the film?

    Share your thoughts >>