Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Per its title, documentarist Lorna Green's nonfiction work Bloodletting: Life, Death and Healthcare constitutes a meditation on institutionalized health care. Green conducts her investigation in two geographic spheres: she begins by leading a team of U.S. health care experts to Cuba, with the goal of documenting cinematically the assets and liabilities of the Cuban health care system - and thus raising the question of whether an island nation of low economic stature can provide adequate care for its citizens. In the second half of the film, Green returns to the U.S., camera in tow, and documents her own family's struggle to obtain adequate medical care without insurance. Her mother (who works as a teacher) and her brother (who works in manufacturing) experience such rudimentary complications as an asthma attack and a root canal, and find themselves sinking rapidly into a quicksand of debt. Green's film thus becomes an intensely personal story about the consequences and costs of privatized health care for average American citizens.