Hospitals are emotional pressure cookers where everything centers on sickness and health, with all other aspects of life suddenly taking second place. H6 illustrates this universal phenomenon in cinéma vérité style, through calm observations of the atmosphere and procedures at an immense hospital in Shanghai. In this swarming hive of doctors, nurses, patients, and family members, the film follows four patients and their loved ones.
A father sings to his injured daughter. He doesn’t dare to tell her that her mother lost her life in the car accident in which they were both involved. In another poignant scene, a sick farmer and his wife must decide whether a proposed operation is worthwhile. The fact that money plays a part in this family’s decision is heartbreaking.
There are numerous more cheerful intermezzos, but they can’t conceal the fact that this Chinese hospital is a manifestation of a merciless, class-based society.