House Calls

House Calls

| 55 min

This award-winning documentary presents Mark Nowaczynski, a physician who photographs the lives of many of his elderly patients. "Who in the world would want to see a bunch of pictures of me? Junk," says Connie, 93. Yet "Dr. Mark" has been photographing her and other patients to raise awareness about the lack of home care in this growing segment of the population. His black-and-white pictures reflect faces that convey fragility and vulnerability but also quiet strength as these seniors struggle to live with dignity.

Manifesto Point # 5: Use whatever medium suits: There’s a feature film worth mentioning here too. In House Calls (2006) family physician Mark Nowaczynski advocates for a return to the practice of house calls for seniors who are living independently in their own homes. Things sure have changed since the 1930s, when 40% of doctor-patient encounters were house calls. What’s interesting about “Dr. Mark” is that he’s turned to the art of photography to make his case. Through portrait photography, Dr. Mark gives a dignity to his patients and photography subjects, all the while making a strong argument for doctors to hit the road more often. This film, directed by Ian MacLeod and produced by Filmmaker-in-Residence’s own producer, Gerry Flahive, has influenced policy, practice and attitudes across Canada.

Katerina Cizek
From the playlist: Manifesto for Interventionist Media - because Art is a Hammer

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  • director
    Ian McLeod
  • writer
    Ian McLeod
  • producer
    Gerry Flahive
  • director of photography
    Michael Grippo
  • editor
    Denis Takacs
  • sound recordist
    Steve McNamee
  • original music composer
    Eric Robertson
    Claude Desjardins
  • music performer
    Eric Robertson
    Claude Desjardins
  • additional camera
    Mark Ellam
  • additional sound
    Hartley Wynberg
    Bob Salter
  • assistant editor
    Angela Fong
    Brian Katugampola
    Anthony Miceli
    Dan Thornhill
  • research
    Joanne Fishburn
  • archival clearances
    Elizabeth Klinck
  • music clearances
    Elizabeth Klinck
  • sound design
    Steve Munro
  • dialogue editor
    David Drainie Taylor
  • re-recording
    Trackworks Inc.
  • online editor
    Dan Johnston
  • colourist
    Dan Johnston
  • transcription
    Chris Warren Textworks
    Highscribe/Vespi Inc.
  • photo scanning
    Shannon Craig
  • stills photography
    Kevin Kelly
  • production co-ordinator
    Anousheh Showleh
    Lea Marin-Jara
  • budget officer
    Julietta McGovern
    Ida Di Fruscia
  • senior administrative assistant
    Joanne Forrest
  • product manager
    Sue Mander
  • technical coordinator
    Mark Wilson
  • production supervisor
    Kemp Archibald
  • line producer
    Douglas MacFarlane
  • executive producer
    Silva Basmajian
    Sylvia Sweeney

  • None

    Powerful documentary...everyone should watch this. My mother just turned 100 years young. My many thanks and eternal gratitude to Dr. Mark and the team at House Calls for helping us to reach this milestone. House Calls has allowed my mother to age in place with comfort, compassion, and most importantly, dignity. Please watch this film and encourage others to do so...let's raise awareness.

    None, 28 Feb 2023
  • Clara

    Doctor Mark N. used to be my husband's doctor at 90 Medical. My husband just sent me this site with this phrases: Here is an independent documentary from Dr Nowaczynski . Now I think , I really miss him . A great doctor but more a compassionate human being.

    Clara, 23 Oct 2010
  • heidiannemorris

    Superb documentary. Thank you for the insight.

    heidiannemorris, 4 Aug 2010

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House Calls, Ian McLeod, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

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