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Just What the Doctor Ordered: 75 years of medicine on screen

Just What the Doctor Ordered: 75 years of medicine on screen
Saturday 17-Sunday 18 September, Dray Walk Gallery, The Old Truman Brewery, London

Veteran documentary filmmaker Roger Graef and invited speakers delved into the Wellcome Trust film archives to uncover 75 years of medicine on screen, while visitors were invited to receive diagnosis and cure at the pop-up 1980s 'Therapy on Film' Hospital Ward.

'Just What the Doctor Ordered' was a unique celebration of medical documentary filmmaking, highlighting the incredible content of the Trust’s extensive film archives and the films the Trust has supported more recently. Through a special programme of talks and screenings, we explored the ethical dilemmas faced by doctors and the medical profession, and the ways in which these have been portrayed on screen over the last 75 years. During the day, visitors were invited to receive a prescribed dose of 'film therapy' at the pop-up Hospital Ward.


'Therapy on Film' Hospital Ward
Saturday 17 September, 11.00-15.30
Sunday 18 September, 11.00-16.30
Attendees were invited to discover the best of the Trust’s incredible film archives on the unique 'Therapy on Film' Hospital Ward - explore the archives yourself online at the Wellcome Film YouTube Channel.

Talks and screenings with Roger Graef and invited speakers

The Ethics of Medicine on Screen: Q&A and clips with Roger Graef and guests
Saturday 17 September, 15.00-17.00
Roger Graef was joined by Stephen Cox, the Head of Communications at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and Foz Allan, former producer of BBC 1 drama 'Casualty', to explore the on-screen portrayal of ethical dilemmas faced by doctors and how these have changed over time. Graef and guests examined excerpts from his documentary series 'Great Ormond Street' and 'Casualty' alongside Wellcome Trust archive films and footage.

The English Surgeon (2007, Geoffrey Smith): Screening and Q&A with director Geoffrey Smith
Saturday 17 September, 17.00-19.00
Shot in a Ukrainian hospital full of desperate patients and makeshift equipment, 'The English Surgeon' is an intimate portrait of brain surgeon Henry Marsh as he wrestles with the dilemmas of the doctor-patient relationship. Roger Graef and director Geoffrey Smith discussed the making of the film.

Double bill: One of Them is Brett (1965, Roger Graef) and Donor Unknown (2010; Jerry Rothwell)
Sunday 18 September, 16.30-18.15
This afternoon double bill included Roger Graef’s award-winning 'One of Them is Brett' followed by a screening of the thought-provoking 'Donor Unknown'.

One of Them is Brett
For the first time in 50 years, Roger Graef's award winning 'One of Them is Brett' was publicly screened. The moving documentary follows a young boy disabled by the drug thalidomide and was groundbreaking in its treatment of the subject in its day. Made for the Society of Thalidomide Children, the film follows Brett as he lives with his birth defects, showing us that physical handicaps do not stop children being active mentally.

Donor Unknown
'Donor Unknown' follows the story of JoEllen Marsh, 20, as she goes in search of the sperm donor father she only knows as Donor 150. From the Human Genome Project to IVF, this feature-length documentary explores how advances in life sciences since the turn of the millennium seem set to transform our relationship to the natural world and to each other, changing how we are conceived, born, grow up, cope with illness and die.

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