Director Alexander Nanau follows a crack team of investigators at the Romanian newspaper Gazeta Sporturilor as they try to uncover a vast health-care fraud that enriched moguls and politicians and led to the deaths of innocent citizens.
Within the first fifteen minutes of this film, you hear the words of heartbreak for a broken healthcare system. Which leads us to this footage of a fire breaks out during a show at a Bucharest rock club; 27 people are killed, and many, many others injured (this footage is raw and terrifying.) From here, we start to understand that people involved in this accident start to die while recovering, and the journalist’s team began to try and find out why.
As the journalist starts to unfold, we get this decisive moment between one of the journalists and government official Min. Sanatatii. The journalist challenges him, the test that is being run, and it is an intense cat and mouse game between the two.
I think we lose sight of how essential journalists and reporters are, especially those in the stories of this nature, as they are taking a HUGE risk, and the payoff could equate to something far scarier than they are going to get in return.
Next, we see one of the most troubling scenes of this movie and quite possibly one of the worst I’ve ever seen in a documentary. Someone took the risk and recorded a video of a patient who seems to be out cold, but you see maggots’ crawling around on this person’s neck. As they point out, it was the patient’s lack of taking care, bathing, checking in on them, and this was a gut-wrenching scene that was very hard to watch.
As a result of the investigation and peeling back more layers, this film becomes more and more troubling. The more research is done, the more they find that is corrupt, and even more alarming are how many of the individuals at the hospital are involved in this unethical mess they have built.
In conclusion, this could be one of the most important documentaries you will ever see. Corruption within our health system is something that people battle daily, and the exposure of corruption brings so many questions about how things are handled across the world and the stories we don’t hear about. These journalists are heroic, and the amount of lives they potentially saved is huge.
Collective is one of the must see documentaries of the year.