In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this account of five Indian-born doctors who have struggled with their families back home and the issues they face in the U.S. is documented here in this film.

The pandemic has swept across the world and five doctors originally born in India are profiled. Dr. Ankit Bharat, based in Chicago, was the first doctor to perform the first double-lung surgery to a COVID patient in the United States. There are also nephrologist Pooja Malhotra, internal medicine specialists Drs. Uma Madhusudana and Shreedhar Kulkarni, and critical care and pulmonary disease specialist Dr. Shantanu Singh.

We take a look at the struggles each of the doctors go through as the pandemic hits their various cities as well as their homeland, in which they worry about their families. In the case of Bharat, he attempts to prepare for the historic event in performing the life-saving surgery. As for Malhotra, we see her struggle as she had contracted the coronavirus and is forced into self-quarantine away from her family. Dr. Madhusudana was surprised with a video called “Drive of Honor”, that soon becomes viral. We see Drs. Kulkarini and Singh on the battlelines first-hand as they attempt to help patients of the virus.

Sweta Rai has come up with something ingenious for this documentary about five doctors on the frontlines. Not being allowed to go near the doctors due to the possibility of being exposed, Rai has gotten first hand experience from the five doctors themselves by asking them to record their experiences from their cameras with Rai directing the film from her home. This is a really wonderful idea to get a firsthand experience at the struggles of the frontlines as well as getting a look at how India, and these doctors’ relatives are experiencing the pandemic and how it affects them.

While all the stories all involve struggles, you can’t help but get emotional over Dr. Malhotra’s personal struggle as we see how it feels to contract the coronavirus and the toll it seems to take on her and her family as she is forced into isolation in her bedroom. We see her husband bringing her plates of food to the bedroom door and her daughters’ concern as they ask her if she is okay. We get to hear from her family as they give their feelings as to what has happened and how they only hope she can recover and get back to normal life…which don’t worry, she does.

A Pandemic: Away from the Motherland is a really good documentary that takes a first hand look at the lives of five doctors and the struggles both they and those in their homeland are dealing with during this very trying time with the COVID-19 pandemic. You can’t help but feel for these professionals who risk their lives to make those feel better.


An Indo Holly Films Production. Director: Sweta Rai. Producer: Sweta Rai. Editing: Josh Muscatine.

Cast: Ankit Bharat, Pooja Malhotra, Uma Madhusudana, Shreedhar Kulkarni, Shantanu Singh