Watch Tales from the Gimli Hospital
- 1 hr 12 min
Tales from the Gimli Hospital is a surreal and haunting film that defies easy categorization. Directed by Icelandic-Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin, the movie unfolds in two halves, each comprising a distinct but interconnected narrative. The film's setting is the fictional Gimli Hospital, a remote medical facility located in the Icelandic wilderness.
The first half of the film tells the story of Einar the Lonely, a man suffering from a mysterious illness that causes him to cough up rocks. Einar is shunned by the other patients and staff at the hospital, who view him as a freak. He finds solace in the company of Gunnar, a fellow patient who has also been ostracized from the community. Together, Einar and Gunnar form a bond that is both tender and grotesque.
The second half of the film focuses on the tale of The Worm Turns. In this segment, we meet a young woman named Amma who is desperate to have a child. She seeks the help of a witchdoctor who promises to impregnate her with a magical worm. The worm grows inside her, causing her to experience vivid and hallucinatory dreams. As Amma's pregnancy progresses, she becomes increasingly isolated and tormented by her own mind.
Tales from the Gimli Hospital is a film that operates on multiple levels. On the surface, it can be read as a kind of horror movie, with its emphasis on the grotesque and the surreal. The film's imagery is often unsettling, with scenes of patients coughing up rocks, worms wriggling beneath skin, and other grotesque tableaus. Maddin's use of black-and-white cinematography and silent film techniques only adds to the film's eerie atmosphere.
But at the same time, Tales from the Gimli Hospital is a deeply emotional film that explores themes of loneliness, isolation, and the human need for connection. Einar and Gunnar's relationship is profoundly affecting, even as it veers into strange and unsettling territory. Their mutual desire for human contact, even as they are both plagued by illness and ostracism, is both heartbreaking and life-affirming.
Similarly, Amma's story is one of desperation and longing. Her desire for a child is a primal one, and her quest for fulfillment leads her down a dark and dangerous path. Her dreams and hallucinations are a reflection of her own desires and fears, and the film's final sequence is both haunting and cathartic.
Overall, Tales from the Gimli Hospital is a truly unique and unforgettable film. Maddin's approach to storytelling is both experimental and deeply human, and the movie is a testament to the enduring power of cinema to probe the darkest recesses of the human psyche.
Tales from the Gimli Hospital is a 1988 fantasy movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 12 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6 and a MetaScore of 71.