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Cinema-TV Student Rosalee Chan Films Hospital Documentary in India

Chan Spends Two Weeks Filming Indian Hospital That Serves Underprivileged Community

Rosalee Chan, a current Cinema TV major, Biology Minor, and Pre-Medicine student at SMU, spent two weeks this past summer filming a documentary at St. Stephen's Hospital, one of the largest non-government hospitals in Delhi, India. Rosalee spent her days exploring and filming St. Stephens' Hospital in Delhi and St. Stephen's Community Health Center, which serves the underprivileged community of Sunder Nagari.

Rosalee enjoyed her first encounter with India's rich culture, but the thing that made the biggest impression on her was the traffic culture shock. “Delhi is a crowded, bustling, busy city. The traffic is amazingly chaotic! Everyone here has a healthy disregard for any road rules, and the cars, motorbikes, rickshaws, buses, ox or horse drawn wagons, bikes, and pedestrians all fight for the limited space on the road. It's like trying to play Tetris while all the pieces are moving in different directions all at the same time.”

For Rosalee, this trip was a perfect opportunity to explore her two passions: film and medicine. “I could not have found a better way to combine practicing the cinematography skills that I learn in class with exploring my vision of providing healthcare to communities in need. Filming in another country was quite the experience. Besides the technical practice of applying the skills I learned in production courses, there were the language and cultural barriers. On one occasion a woman gestured dramatically and talked loudly at me, so I hastily put away my camera. I was afraid that I had offended her, but when she came back a minute later, I was relieved to find out that she had simply been trying to offer me some mangoes.”

“I only spent two short weeks in India, but it expanded my vision so much more than years of sitting at a desk could ever have. As I observed how the programs at the Community Health Center empowered people through education, I realized that there are so many more aspects to health than the simple hospital approach of treating symptoms through reactive medicine. The Community Health Center's preventative strategy and focus on the holistic health of a community inspired me to expand my vision for working in healthcare overseas.”

“I am currently tackling the daunting task of sifting through the hours and hours of video I recorded. I have some ideas about how the documentary will turn out, but we'll see what story emerges as I edit. I hope that when the documentary is completed, it will be a voice for this community in Delhi, India to share their stories and impact people all the way on the other side of the world.”

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