The Waiting Room VR

  • Victoria Mapplebeck
  • United Kingdom
  • 2019
  • 16 min
  • Immersive
  • Dutch Premiere
  • DocLab Domesticating Reality, IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling, DocLab Program

This autobiographic, poetic work narrates director Victoria Mapplebeck’s treatment for breast cancer and its emotional creep through all aspects of her life, culminating finally in capturing her last radiation session in real time and immersive 360-degree VR. 

Through multilayered soundscapes—stitched-together snippets of voicemails, advice, doctor visits, discussions with friends, family and her young son—she tells the story of negotiating daily decisions and fears, giving shape to the world that surrounds her as it is transformed by her diagnosis: an experience that is fundamentally solitary and yet inevitably social. She links genetics and generations, wondering about the state of her cells, and exploring the scientific development of mustard gas that has brought her to her present moment.

In a calm yet futuristic confrontation with mortality, she breathes rhythmically in and out, “moving her heart out of the way” of the radiation. The Waiting Room VR offers a meditation on the organic body and the limits and possibilities of our technological age, despite its unimaginable advances, in the face of the unknown.


  • 16 min
  • Spoken languages: English
Created by
Victoria Mapplebeck
Victoria Mapplebeck
Shehani Fernando for East City Films Ltd
Executive producer
Darren Emerson, Catherine Allen
Darren Emerson

IDFA history

Dutch Premiere
DocLab Domesticating Reality
IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling
DocLab Program

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IDFA history

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