REVIEW: Body Team 12 [2015]

Score: 7/10 | ★ ★ ★


Rating: NR | Runtime: 13 minutes | Release Date: 2015 (USA)
Studio: HBO Documentary Films
Director(s): David Darg
Writer(s): David Darg

“My life is a sacrifice for the country to succeed”

For Americans the Ebola scare was a handful of cases and nurses who weren’t as careful as they should have been. To the world it was thousands upon thousands of dead bodies—loved ones that family members can’t normally mourn because every second the deceased’s blood lays in the streets is an extra second risking greater contamination. It’s easy to forget the scope of epidemics like this when ground zero isn’t in our own backyard. We blame countries for being inferior, rejoice in our capabilities to put a lid on things, and go about our daily business as though nothing is wrong. This isn’t the case for citizens of Liberia where outbreak numbers exploded exponentially. It was a plague destroying their country. And it still could return.

Director David Darg‘s film Body Team 12 shines a light on the plight of an environment such as Monrovia, Liberia and the heroes fighting the good fight for their nation’s future. Garmai Sumo isn’t in this job for selfish reasons—she isn’t making a fortune or finding her face plastered on billboards despite being the only female in her “body team”. She’s merely a mother who knows the fear of protecting someone no matter the consequences. She’s a nurse with the know-how to help curb a tragedy sprawling without an end in sight by buckling down to combat it. She’s lost friends as her position on the team rendered her a pariah and liability risking too much to potentially die of the same illness she hopes to end.

The film’s less a story than a snapshot memorial for the dead and living so no one can forget what happened. It’s a showcase of the human spirit and a selfless attitude to do what’s necessary for the greater good because today’s generation deserves the chance to have the same future every generation before them had. It’s also a memorial for the nameless and faceless victims to everyone but their families who must be cremated in order to prevent the disease’s spread. They unfortunately can’t be given a grave without dire ramifications and thus the family mourns with nowhere to point their grief. Darg gives them something with his film by immortalizing them through Sumo’s mission. And one day it’ll all be worth it.


Body Team 12 debuts on HBO in March, 2016.


photography:
courtesy of Shorts HD

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