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HU Enigma documentary: a metaphor of a country
How a renowned public hospital and its ruins co-exist in the same building becoming a metaphor of Brazilian politics
European Healthcare Design 2019
Design Activism for a Caring Society
- Updated Inspiration
‘HU’ is short for the Clementino Fraga Filho University Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, one of Brazil’s most prestigious medical centres. In the late 1970s, the construction of an enormous building of 220,000-sq-m was planned to house this public hospital. However, budgeting problems of the successive governments forced them to split the hospital’s use of the building in half. The other half of the building was literally empty. Vandalism and the pass of time have left this unoccupied space in ruins.
The entire HU Enigma documentary is filmed within the walls of this massive construction and public hospital, symmetrically divided into two completely opposite worlds, and offering a viewpoint of the city of Rio de Janeiro. Interviews with politicians, doctors, architects and other professionals help to unravel the history of this place, as well as provide a commentary on the history of the country.