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Filmmaker Interviews

Geoffrey Smith talks about The English Surgeon.

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In this excerpt from the 2004 BBC documentary Your Life in Their Hands, physician Henry Marsh performs surgery to remove a life-threatening tumor from a patient's brain.

Classroom Clips

Dr. Henry Marsh performs awake brain surgery on a patient in the Ukraine.

Classroom Clips

Dr. Henry Marsh arrives at a hospital in the Ukraine, bringing equipment and expertise to patients in need.

Classroom Clips

Dr. Henry Marsh talks about the first time he went to the Ukraine and why he decided to try to improve things there.

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Dr. Marsh talks about the challenges of neurosurgery, how he began working with Igor and more.

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Dr. Henry Marsh gives an update on the situation in the Ukraine, his friend Igor and more.


A remarkable depiction of one doctor's commitment to relieving suffering and of the emotional turmoil he undergoes in bringing hope to a desperate people.

  • Updated on October 13, 2015

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Film Information

The English Surgeon (90 min.)

Premiere Date: September 8, 2009

Streaming Dates: Expired

Photos: Download Here

Trailer: Link | Embed

Filmmaker: Geoffrey Smith Bio | Interview | Statement

Press: Fact Sheet | Press Release | Filmmaker Statement | duPont Awar | Emmy Awar | Christopher Award


Geoffrey Smith
Geoffrey Smith

He is firstly an artist and then a surgeon. He’s willing to look at surgery and surgeons. He’s prepared to be vulnerable ... He’s the very opposite of the arrogant, repressed surgical model.”

— Filmmaker Geoffrey Smith in Time Out London


Film Update

Critical Acclaim

Astonishing. . . . [An] unexpectedly effective and often affecting documentary. . . . These men perform miracles, but they are also agonizingly human.”

— Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

[T]his is one extraordinary documentary, approaching hugely emotive subject matter with nimble delicacy and...steely reserve...A life-affirming, unforgettable portrait of a true humanitarian...”

Time Out London

So why see such a difficult film? For the same reason Smith made it: There is great beauty in watching one heroic soul insist that he can improve upon a cruel and complex world.”

— Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News

…a lovely film, the best documentary for a long time.”

The Guardian

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