Belgian documentary highlights burnout problem in Paris hospital


In his documentary titled ‘Burning Out’, Belgian director Jérôme le Maire puts the increasingly strenuous work situation of medical professionals in the spotlight, and how it affects their physical and mental well-being. The documentary, which was filmed at Saint-Louis hospital in Paris, exposes a painful reality: what if the way an organisation is run is what is actually causing this illness?

Unsustainable situation

For two years, Jérôme le Maire followed the members of a surgical unit throughout their day-to-day tasks. He witnessed how chronic stress and psychosocial problems are deeply affecting these medical professionals. Not only surgical ward doctors and nursing staff but also management representatives and directors are swept away by this raging fire called ‘burnout’. Extreme work pressure has taken away the joy and satisfaction they once got from their jobs, and this is causing frustration—or worse—indifference.

Burnout epidemic

Filmmaker Jérôme le Maire believes that his documentary mirrors today’s society. “After each screening of the film, people approach me to tell me they are experiencing the exact same difficulties. Managers and businesses seem to be focused solely on efficiency, productivity and performance, at the detriment of the health of their workers. Burnout has turned into an epidemic and is now an intrinsic part of our society”, le Maire explains.

Belgian premiere

The film—which received the award for Best Belgian documentary at the Docville film festival—will have its premiere screening on 12 September at select movie theatres in Bruges, Ghent, Kortrijk, Antwerp, Leuven, Brussels, Heist-op-den-Berg and Beringen.

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