“Britannia Hospital” (1982) is the third installment of director Lindsay Anderson’s “Mick Travis Trilogy”. Like the other films in the series, it’s a dark comedy following a particularly eventful chapter in the life of Mick Travis (Malcolm McDowell) as he confronts various disturbing and absurd aspects of Britain and western society in general. In Britannia Hospital, Travis is a muckraking investigative journalist covertly filming a documentary on the prestigious Britannia Hospital as it faces a variety of challenges including the opening of a new wing, the arrival of the Queen Mother and other dignitaries, and protesters opposing an African dictator’s stay at the hospital as well as extravagant meals for VIP guests. As he gets further into his investigation Travis becomes embroiled in a secret transhumanist project directed by the head of the new wing. The Film’s central thesis is summed up by the following statement from Lindsay Anderson:
“The absurdities of human behaviour as we move into the Twenty-first Century are too extreme — and too dangerous — to permit us the luxury of sentimentalism or tears. But by looking at humanity objectively and without indulgence, we may hope to save it. Laughter can help.”
Watch the full film here.