I first met Dr. Peter Reeg at Cafe Literature, a West Berlin haunt for intellectual coffee drinking, book browsing and lectures by international authors. It set the tone for an interview with a man who over the following 2 weeks was about to change the way I viewed the world, more than slightly.
We are born with instinct and informed by encounter. The combination of our genetic makeup and our lived experience manifest in how we behave. Some encounters are generally common-place, like eating breakfast or going to the loo. Some are less common, such as getting paid to cut people open in order manipulate their insides to relieve pain, suffering and improve quality of life.
For Dr. Peter Reeg the operating theater is familiar domain. He has performed surgery on thousands of patients, enabling them to walk, move and exist within a mobile world where they once could not. His good humour, openness and relaxed charm while sawing bone and hammering metal fixings into the cartilage of anesthetized patients in preparation for prosthetic reconfiguration - realigned normalcy in an instant.
On the one hand my diverted eyes while filming him at work, proved that inexperience of this environment and fear of the unknown play an important role in immediate response, but in conjunction something must also be said of the role of the Doctor in modern times as judge and jury of the human body.
Reeg's expressed academic interest is medical history. In particular, the ethics of contemporary medical practice informed by Nazi research, added a compelling dimension to the experience of making of this film.