PRN Films – Behind the Mask

Early in the COVID19 pandemic, visiting restrictions meant communications between healthcare facilities and families of patients were difficult. Dissonances strained patient-provider relationships, and despite the video and telecommunication innovations employed throughout this pandemic, there has always been a seeming disconnect between public perception of COVID19 and the lived experiences of healthcare workers. This has been exemplified by protests against lockdowns, social restrictions and mask-wearing. Perhaps even more worrying is the current rise in anti-vaccination groups.

Dr Paul Trotman began documenting and interviewing frontline workers from all around the world early in the pandemic. This film is the result; a compelling, harrowing and honest look at the first wave of the pandemic through the eyes of frontline professionals. If you want to know what we struggled with, what events broke our hearts and how we coped (or didn’t), watch this. It comes out on demand on 1Dec. Watch it on Vimeo:

Behind the Mask has been accepted for the Doctors Without Borders Film Festival 2022, and the DocEdge Festival NZ.

Here are some initial reviews:

“While ostensibly a snapshot of the worst days of the onslaught of Covid, told by those on the front line, it is so much more than that. This is an engaging reminder of the fragility of humanity when circumstances get out of control. It locates us where we are in our vulnerability to forces we can’t control, and reveals the simple heroism that emerges in such times.” Mike Riddell

“If you do anything good this December, send this film to everyone you can. This is not a normal Christmas; we need to be careful. Behind the Mask is a salutary reminder that we are in a pandemic and when case numbers rise, as they will, things can start to get ugly. The situation in New Zealand is not over because we are vaccinated, it is just beginning. When someone says they need a holiday or a haircut or a party this summer please send them this link.” Lucy O’Hagan

To read more about communication on ICU, check out the following short pieces:

Telephone lament for coronavirus

Painting an ICU

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