1h 12min · 10 February 1977
This is a film about moral dilemmas which surgeons face. Dr Panov, the head doctor of a provincial hospital, has a keen sense of responsibility and he takes risks in the name of life a lot more often than his colleagues. The filmmakers place their central character in a make or break situation when a dying child is brought to the hospital. The parents refuse to have their child operated upon. In spite of that Dr Panov tries to save the child but he dies. There follows an investigation. Dr Panov is fired. All this affects his family life. His wife is tired of following her husband from town to town. Like the rest of his colleagues, she is convinced that it all stems from his inability to communicate with people. As a matter of fact he is unable to put up with red tape, with apathy and careerism. Instead of doing nothing and thinking only of himself, he chooses action. It is this altruism, which renders him irreplaceable during the accident in the neighboring mine when he is called back to the hospital.
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