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Airdate: The Surgeon and the Soldier

SBS screens Australian documentary The Surgeon and the Soldier which follows the friendship between Iraqi refugee doctor Munjed Al Muderis who helps ex-soldier Michael Swain to walk again.

Directed by award-winning director, screenwriter and producer David Roach (Red Obsession, Beneath Hill 60), The Surgeon and the Soldier is an inspirational new Australian documentary following Iraq-born Australian refugee and pioneering surgeon Dr Munjed Al Muderis as he fights to help ex-British soldier Michael Swain walk again.

In 2009, at just 20 years old, Swain lost both his legs in a horrific landmine explosion while serving his country in Afghanistan. Swain faced the rest of his life confined to a wheelchair.

Dr Al Muderis has also seen the horrors of war. Born in Iraq, the surgeon fled his home in 1999 after refusing to oblige to Saddam Hussein’s brutal orders to maim rebel soldiers. A decade to the day before Swain’s tragedy, Munjed landed on Christmas Island after a perilous journey seeking asylum, before being granted an Australian visa. He is now an internationally well-respected pioneering surgeon and humanitarian, who has helped many amputees regain their mobility.

Now the two are joined for a battle to push the boundaries of science. The pair form a unique bond as Al Muderis works to develop never-before used bionic legs – facing controversy in the medical fraternity and meeting scientific challenges along the way.

The Surgeon and the Soldier is a story about overcoming the odds, the incredible work done by refugees in Australia, and the country’s position at the forefront of medical science.

“I belong to Australia”, Dr Al Muderis says. “Australia is home … and because of Australia, I do what I’m doing.”

The Surgeon and the Soldier is a dramatic – at times confronting – document of this remarkable journey, following two remarkable people who form a special alliance to bring mobility to those who thought they would never walk again.

8.30pm Monday, 24 April on SBS.

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