"At the doctor's side"- a documentary trilogy

Well known Swiss family doctor, Dr Bruno Kissling is this month's featured doctor. His work as a family doctor was recently filmed in one of three documentaries made by Dr Sylviane Gindrat about the working life of six Swiss family doctors - "At the Doctor's Side"

About the films

In these three documentary films by Sylviane Gindrat of Switzerland (2013) we accompany six family doctors, four men and two women in their daily round and obtain an insight into the hidden realm of their surgeries. In town, in the country and in a mountain valley, the trilogy takes us right into the heart of the consultations and give us a close experience of the sum of their complexity. In confidence with the filmmaker, herself a family doctor for twenty years, the exponents do not only speak about the joys of their professions, but also about their hopes and fears, pinpointing the crisis the profession of family doctor is encountering at present. And yet they affirm their faith in the essential role played by family medicine.

Stéphane & Franziska
tells of life in a mountain-village practice. The Zuffereys, both doctors, are a married couple with four children. Together they ensure the medical care in the Val d’Anniviers. Their work extends from traumatology to paediatrics and includes internal medicine and mountain rescue. There are organisational problems too, especially in winter, when the tourist season brings a tenfold increase in population.

Gabi & Bruno shows a face to face of two strong characters. Aged 28, lively and enthusiastic, Gabriela Rohrer is starting to ‘wear her doctor’s white coat’. Very motivated, she is training to be a family doctor, while being highly critical of the system. Bruno Kissling, 62, has been practising for 30 years as an independent doctor in a residential district in Bern. He is a calm and thoughtful man, highly committed to his patients. His outlook has been moulded by his long experience in a surgery, numerous writings and activities in the training of young doctors.

Paul & Sébastien
: Here we have two generations of family doctors in very different types of practice. Sébastien Martin, a young family doctor, works in a city group-surgery in Lausanne, and is responsible for his own patients and emergency cases in the group’s outpatient department. Sébastien’s manner of working, give us an insight into tomorrow’s family medicine. Paul Affentranger, 65, a man with incredible energy, is a perfect example of the type of family doctor now becoming extinct. He knows all the inhabitants in his area in Entlebuch and is on call day and night. He pinpoints the serious problem of his succession.

Original version: French and Swiss German,
Subtitles: English/French/German

We offer you the three films on one DVD for different purposes:

For private use: You can order the DVD with all three films for CHF 35.- (USD 40.-, EUR 30.-) from our online DVD-shop: www.atthedoctorsside.ch
For educational use: We grant permission to institutions to use the 3 films on their own premises for teaching purposes and for unlimited screening within their institution without entry or participation fees for a period of five years. This licence fee is CHF 500.- (USD 570.-, EUR 420.-). Please contact: [email protected]
For public screenings: Please contact us and we will provide you with the films according to your use: [email protected]

A word from Bruno about being chosen for this role.

Sylviane Gindrat the filmmaker of ‘At the Doctors Side’ and I, have known each other for many years. We are members of the same quality circle, where Sylviane – she also studied social anthropology and film sciences - got inspired to make her film to visualize the complexity and quality of family medicine.

As a first step she visited my clinic to learn, if the patients would accept a person with a camera being present within a real consultation. Sylviane liked my kind of consultation. After casting visits of 30 other family doctors in different parts of Switzerland, she favoured me together with five other doctors, for the film roles.

It was easy for me to accept the role of a protagonist in her film for several reasons:
- I felt good about her presence in my consultation, during her casting visit.
- My patients gave her a warm reception.
- Having seen her two other award winning films I knew how respectfully and empathetically she filmed the protagonists.
- And furthermore, I’m a curious person and I won’t miss the chance to participate at this unique endeavour.

I’m not an actor. I cannot play roles following a script. I’m a protagonist in a documentary and can only “play” myself with my own behaviour, my own authenticity.

Furthermore I learnt to remain authentic even when being observed. This the main precondition for a protagonist in a documentary. And Sylviane found that my appearance, mimics, presence, voice and behaviour etc are ‘filmogenic’. I cannot estimate this. I trust her. But looking at the film you can judge if Sylviane is right. It is my first movie and it will remain my only one, I suppose.

  more about Bruno Kissling  Trailers
  Information on the films