"The English Surgeon" is the true-life tale of Henry Marsh, a London neurosurgeon who travels to Ukraine to treat desperate patients with no access to modern medical facilities. Marsh is one of London's foremost brain surgeons, a phlegmatic, philosophical man with no illusions about the nature of his work.
On a trip to Kiev to give a lecture in 1992, Marsh was shocked to witness the plight of those with severe neurological problems there -- a ghastly world of primitive clinics, Kafkaesque bureaucracy, and medieval surgery - and began making regular trips back to diagnose patients and perform operations whenever possible.
Award-winning filmmaker Geoffrey Smith followed Marsh on one of these trips in 2007, plunging into the chaos of the quest to see and save as many patients as possible.
As the Ukrainian winter whirls around them, Marsh and his maverick Ukrainian counterpart, neurosurgeon Igor Kurilets, work around the clock to get through the endless lines of people who look upon Marsh as their last hope.