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Cristian Movila May 22, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Romania.
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Cancer Patients in Marie Curie Hospital. Bucharest, Romania

I had the pleasure of meeting Cristian Movila at the New York Photo Festival a few days ago. In his short career he has completed several powerful essays. Cristian is 24 years old and divides his time between New York and Bucharest. Touched by the stories of Romanian children suffering with cancer he dedicated two years documenting their lives in a Romanian hospital for a project called Unfinished Dreams. In 2008 he launched an exhibition of this work followed by a humanitarian campaign in Paris and raised over two million dollars for the hospital in Bucharest.

About the Photograph:

Crammed into the old wing of Marie Curie hospital in Bucharest, 20 children diagnosed with cancer are fighting everyday for their lives. Living conditions in the hospital are harsh, with not enough beds and nurses, no proper medicines or medical instruments. “The current conditions in the hospital offer them only a 50 percent chance of survival,” says Cristian Scurtu a veteran doctor working in the hospital since 1984.

Dani is one of the many Romanian children diagnosed with cancer. With his soft brown eyes he scans his small world of wires, white cloths and worried parents and…He dreams. He loves geography and he hopes one day to see America. The number of nurses in the oncology section is so meager that his mother had to quit her job and learn the medical jargon in order to take care of him. Next to him is Marian, an eight years old boy with a broad smile and a gap between his front teeth. “I know all the pains.

I know how pain feels and I believe the ones who are in pain,” he says. If he would have had money he wouldn’t buy toys or sweets, but butter so that all children could eat. Indeed, proper food, medicines, medical instruments, more space for the patients, additional beds and nurses could make a huge difference for these children.

A difference from death and life. For Marian, Alexandru, Cristina, Catalin, Pricop it is already to late now. But Dani, Andrei and the other children in the Marie Curie hospital could some day be cured and get to see the places and do the things they have dreamed about. For now, their lives hang on by a thread but, with a little help, they can be saved.


1. Edward van Herk - May 22, 2008

Dear Christian,

With this essay you proved the strength of documentary still photography, the succesfull follow up with your humanitarian campaign does not only say something about the strength of still photography but especially about you.
Thank you Geoffrey for posting.


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