BFI London Film Fest

Jorge Caballero – Patient #LFF2016

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7 min. and 48 sec.

A mother’s love for her gravely ill daughter.

Play Podcast
7 min. and 48 sec.

PODCAST | Matt Micucci interviews Jorge Caballero, director of Patient from the 60th BFI London Film Festival.

To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture

The title of Jorge Caballero’s latest documentary, Patient, also points out to the fact that one must indeed be patient in order to psychologically overcome the frustrating bureaucratic obstacles of health systems. Such is the case with Nubia, a Colombian woman, whose teenage daughter is gravely ill. Caballero follows her struggles, and the extent of her love and devotion, in his honest film Patient, which had its British premiere in the Debate section of the 60th BFI London Film Festival.

The key word, which he often repeats in our interview, is “honest.” The honesty of the portayal can be seen in a number of ways, which he mentions in the film, and that include the style, quite well defined despite the fact that, in following this tragic situation, the director, much like the subjects of the documentary, had to be ready for anything – ready for the unexpected.

The film is ultimately also a monument to a mother’s love for her daughter, and Nubia is an inspiring woman to say the least. Limping her way through the long corridors of the bureaucratic maze of the Colombian health system, she lives for her daughter and longs for her to feel well. We ask Caballero how he first came across these wonderful individuals and whether they were open to being filmed and comfortable in front of the camera.

PATIENT. In a Bogotá hospital, a young teenager is gravely ill with cancer. Almost constantly at her side is her mother Nubia. On those rare occasions when she’s not comforting her daughter, Nubia is battling the bureaucratic complexities of the Colombian health care system to ensure her daughter gets the medicine and care she requires, and talking through the increasingly limited treatments offered by the doctors. Focused exclusively on the heroic Nubia – we never see her ailing daughter, but her anguish permeates every frame of this heart-rending film – Jorge Caballero’s documentary is a masterly lesson in ethical restraint and watchful compassion. Understandably, this achingly sad film has distressing moments, but through its admiring portrait of the quietly indefatigable Nubia, Patient emerges as a profoundly touching and deeply humane tribute to a tireless act of parental love.


  • Reporter
    Matt Micucci
  • Guest
    Jorge Caballero
  • Interviewee role
  • Film title
  • Festival section
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