Beautiful Faces offers a compelling look at one of the world’s most remarkable hospitals, the disfigured young patients to whom it offers new lives, and the team of surgeons, physicians, and medical professionals who believe it’s the best place in the world to practice their unique, life-transforming craft.
You’ll come away convinced that health-care can be affordable, humane, and excellent, and that every one of us deserves a face with which we can bravely meet the world.
Hospital General Gea Gonzalez, located in Mexico City’s frenetic Tlalpan district, is surrounded by a high metal-barred fence, its entrances guarded by policemen carrying automatic weapons. On any day, literally thousands of impoverished Mexicans wait patiently for services, often for many hours, yet the hospital’s plastic and reconstructive surgery unit.
It is a hospital that ably demonstrates that even the very poor can receive excellent medical care at costs that don’t bankrupt health-care systems and that everyone can be offered the basic human right of a normal face.
Beautiful Faces interweaves the stories of patients and their families who come to the reconstructive plastic surgery unit at Hospital Gea Gonzalez seeking physical transformations that will renew their own and their loved ones lives with the personal stories of the enormously talented medical professionals whose work is both their passion and their gift to humankind.
The film chronicles the remarkable community of caregivers and care-receivers who come together on the hospital’s fascinating fourth floor, and who profoundly influence each others lives. From Dr. Fernando Ortiz Monasterio, the beloved patriarch whose demands for excellence from his subordinates remain exacting, to four-year-old Sebastián Castillo, whose irrepressible enthusiasm for life helps him cope remarkably with the challenges of Crouzon’s syndrome, Beautiful Faces is a mosaic of stories–the richly visual tales of people who meet in a singular place and who collectively understand that in valuing individual lives and striving to make them better, we value all of humanity.
Beautiful Faces ultimately demonstrates that, in many ways, the distinction between patients and caregivers is only an illusory one, and that much more than cutting, sawing, and sewing, the essential task of the hospital is the freeing of the human spirit. It is work that allows doctors and patients alike to look comfortably in the mirror and understand that they are vitally important members of the human family.
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