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When the ambulance finally arrives, the nurse, Mioara, dispels the idea that Lăzărescu's ulcer surgery over a decade before could cause this pain. While taking the patient history, she suspects that Lăzărescu has colon cancer.
The film follows Lăzărescu's journey through the night, as he is carried from one hospital to the next. Meanwhile, Lăzărescu's condition deteriorates rapidly, his speech is reduced to babbling, and he slowly loses consciousness. During the night, his only advocate is Mioara, the paramedic who stubbornly stays by him and tries to get him hospitalized and treated, while passively accepting verbal abuse from the doctors who look down on her.
This movie is in direct connection with Unit 12, on account of the characters and the typologies reflected. On one hand, all the physicians Mr. Lăzărescu comes across have different traits, that put together, depict the portrait of how a doctor ought not be. On the other hand, in antithesis with the physicians, there is Mioara, the paramedic who stands by Mr. Lăzărescu’s side all night, trying her very best to help him. Mioara is the embodiment of devotion towards the pacient and kindness, as every person working in the medical field should be. This striking comparison, between the physicians and Mioara can only help future doctors understand the importance of empathy, patience and devotion, while realising just how despicable condescendence and arrogance can look like in a physician.
After its 2006 US release, The Death of Mr. Lăzărescu rose quickly to critical acclaim, receiving enthusiastic reviews. Rotten Tomatoes, which gathers reviews from a large number of professional film critics, gives the film a 93% 'fresh' rating. Moreover, in 2007 it appeared on more than 10 "Top Ten films of 2006" lists compiled by professional critics, reaching the first place in J. Hoberman’s list in the "Village Voice" and Sheri Linden's list in The Hollywood Reporter.