The Waiting Room (2012 film)

The Waiting Room is a 2012 American documentary film and social media project directed by Peter Nicks that follows the life and times of patients, doctors, and staff at Highland Hospital, a safety-net hospital in Oakland, California.

The Waiting Room
Poster for The Waiting Room Documentary.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed byPeter Nicks
Produced byLinda Davis
Peter Nicks
CinematographyPeter Nicks
Edited byLawrence Lerew
Release date
Running time
81 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$244,092[1]


The project includes a blog which features stories and conversations from the waiting room as well as behind-the-scenes information about the project. Frequent video updates from the project are posted on the blog.[2] These videos examine what life is like in an American public hospital caring for a community of largely uninsured patients.

The project involves placing interactive storytelling booths in hospital waiting rooms.[3] These kiosks will include the live-blogged reports from people living without health insurance, and a unique online portal that will distribute these stories and become an archive for the testimonials that will highlight the urgency of the national dialogue around health care.[4]


The Waiting Room is funded by the MacArthur Foundation, Independent Television Service, The Fledgling Fund, The San Francisco Foundation, California Council for the Humanities, the Pacific Pioneer Find, and the San Francisco Film Society. Its key partners include the Bay Area Video Coalition, Active Voice, Pentagram, and The Takeaway. The Waiting Room has also been featured on the New York Times Lens Blog as Videos Worth Watching.[5]

Critical receptionEdit

Both The Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle named the film on the 10 Best of the Year lists.[6] Critic Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post named The Waiting Room the third best film of 2012. Wrote Hornaday: "This subtle, compassionate tableau lifts the veil on a world often described in terms of squalor and despair, finding the inherent dignity and perseverance therein."[7] The movie holds a "fresh" rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 34 reviews, with a weighted average of 8.41/10.[8]


  1. ^ "The Waiting Room (2012) - Box Office Mojo".
  2. ^ "The Waiting Room". NSA at SFSU. 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-08.
  3. ^ Fox, Michael (2009). "Pete Nicks prescribes media treatment in "Waiting Room"". SF360. Archived from the original on January 13, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-08.
  4. ^ "BAVC Producers Institute" (SWF). Bay Area Video Coalition. 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-08.
  5. ^ Bracken, Kassie & Farrell, Sean Patrick (2009-08-07). "Must See: Videos Worth Watching" (SWF). New York Times.
  6. ^ LaSalle, Mick (28 December 2012). "Mick LaSalle's top 10 movies for 2012". SFGate.
  7. ^ Hornaday, Ann (December 7, 2012). "Ann Hornaday's ten best films of 2012". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on December 13, 2012. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
  8. ^ "The Waiting Room (2012)".

External linksEdit