Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: movies

  • Movie review: Miss Evers’ Boys

    P. Ravi ShankarKuala Lumpur, Malaysia The Tuskegee Syphilis study was a dark chapter in United States history. In 1932, the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) began to study the natural history of progression of syphilis. The study was originally called the “Tuskegee study of untreated syphilis in the negro male” and is now referred…

  • Jaws and galeophobia

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “Ignorance is the parent of fear.”– Herman Melville, Moby Dick The 1975 thriller film, Jaws, takes place in a New England summer resort town. People flock to the beach, and two swimmers are killed by sharks. A marine biologist brought in to help find the killer thinks the swimmers were killed by…

  • Movie review: Bisturi: La Mafia Bianca

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “Medicine is power. It makes us giants.”– Dr. Daniele Valotti in Bisturi: La Mafia Bianca Bisturi: La Mafia Bianca (1973) is an understated, well-acted, and critical “doctor movie.” Unlike The Hospital, it is not a black comedy of errors, and unlike Where Does It Hurt? it is not a broad, obvious satire.…

  • Movie review: Where Does it Hurt?

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “This film is dedicated to the honest, sincere MDs—whose lives are dedicated to the sacred Hippocratic oath. Will these three doctors please stand up?” This dedication sets the tone of Where Does It Hurt? (1972). Unlike the 1971 film The Hospital, in which patients’ lives are jeopardized by inefficiency, incompetence, and insanity,…

  • Understanding so little: Cinema and mass shootings

    Eelco WijdicksRochester, Minnesota, United States The horrific 2012 shooting in Aurora, Colorado, during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises, was serendipitously preceded by a trailer for Gangster Squad, which showed a fictitious shooting of a movie theater audience. Filmmakers have revisited the topic of mass shootings and their aftermath in portrayals not only of…

  • Medicine and cinema—A cultural symbiosis

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, United Kingdom For doctors and lovers of cinema, 1895 was an important year. On November 8, 1895, Wilhelm Röntgen, a fifty-year-old professor of physics, discovered X-rays in his laboratory in Wurzburg, Germany. On March 22 1895, the Lumiere brothers presented the first film on a screen to an audience of 200 in…

  • Screenwriting: psychiatry in reverse

    Stephen Potts Edinburgh, United Kingdom   Introduction Good Will Hunting publicity poster The subject matter of medicine is inherently dramatic. Decisions taken by professionals who are highly skilled, but still human and therefore flawed, are applied to suffering patients in situations of pressure and can have radically diverse outcomes: life or death; disability or cure:…