Category Archives: Films and Television

Leigh, Mike (dir). Vera Drake



In 1950s England, housekeeper Vera Drake (Imelda Staunton) is a kindly wife and mother who offers selfless devotion and unwavering care to her family, which includes her husband (Philip Davis) and two grown children (Alex Kelly, Daniel Mays). However, unknown to her friends and family, Drake provides abortions to local women with unwanted pregnancies. When the authorities learn of her illegal activities, Drake loses the admiration of many around her — and possibly her freedom.

Director: Mike Leigh
Writer: Mike Leigh
year: 2004




Ross, Matt (dir). Captain Fantastic


Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen), his wife Leslie and their six children live deep in the wilderness of Washington state. Isolated from society, Ben and Leslie devote their existence to raising their kids — educating them to think critically, training them to be physically fit and athletic, guiding them in the wild without technology and demonstrating the beauty of co-existing with nature. When Leslie dies suddenly, Ben must take his sheltered offspring into the outside world for the first time.

Director: Matt Ross
Screenplay: Matt Ross
Year: 2016



Waititi, Taika (dir). Hunt for the Wilderpeople


Raised on hip-hop and foster care, defiant city kid Ricky gets a fresh start in the New Zealand countryside. He quickly finds himself at home with his new foster family: the loving Aunt Bella, the cantankerous Uncle Hec, and dog Tupac. When a tragedy strikes that threatens to ship Ricky to another home, both he and Hec go on the run in the bush. As a national manhunt ensues, the newly branded outlaws must face their options: go out in a blaze of glory or overcome their differences and survive as a family.

Directed: Taika Waititi
Screenplay: Taika Waititi
Year: 2016



Oppenheimer, Joshua; Anonymous (dirs). The Act of Killing


A documentary which challenges former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers.


By director Joshua Oppenheimer

The Act of Killing reveals why violence we hope would be unimaginable is not only imagined, but also routinely performed. It is an effort to understand the moral vacuum that makes it possible for perpetrators of genocide to be celebrated on public television with cheers and smiles. It is a call to reexamine easy reassurances that we are the good guys fighting the bad guys, just because we say so.

Some viewers may desire resolution by the end of the film, a successful struggle for justice that results in changes in the balance of power, human rights tribunals, reparations, and official apologies. The film alone cannot create these changes, but this desire has been our inspiration as well, as we seek to shed light on the darkest chapters of both the local and global human story, and to express the real costs of blindness, expedience, and an inability to control greed and the hunger for power in an increasingly unified world society. This is not a story about Indonesia. This is a story about us all.

Directed: Joshua Oppenheimer
Produced:  Signe Byrge Sørensen
Cinematography: Anonymous, Carlos Arango de Montis, Lars Skree
Production company: Final Cut for Real, DK
Year: 2013


Krishnan, Tinge (dir). Shadowscan

Two junior NHS workers are in the middle of a night shift and dealing with it in different ways. Satinda is tired and put upon while Amir is seemingly cheerful and helps pick her up. However Amir is also depressed and using drugs and self harm to help him get by. Eventually they both have to decide how to deal with their stressful lives and to live with the consequences.

The BAFTA award-winning Shadowscan (Channel 4, 18/12/2001) is director Tinge Krishnan‘s third short film. A surreal portrait of the Accident and Emergency department of a city hospital, Shadowscan is partly based on Tinge’s own experience as a junior doctor.

Director:    Tinge Krishnan
Production Company:    Disruptive
Producers:   Gary A. Holding,  Justine Leahy
Script:    Tinge Krishnan
Director of Photography:  Robbie Ryan
Year: 2001


Peirce, Kimberly (dir). Boys Don’t Cry


In Falls City, Nebraska, Brandon Teena arrives to start a new future for himself. The local community falls for his charms and everyone becomes drawn to his innocence and wit. However, behind the charming persona is a totally different person – Brandon is actually a woman. After falling for a local karaoke singer, Brandon moves in with her family and wins them over. But when Brandon’s secret is finally out, the rest of the family all turn against him, branding him sick and evil.

Directed: Kimberly Peirce
Written: Andy Bienen, Kimberly Peirce
Year: 1999







Suri, Sandhya (dir). I for India


In 1965 Yash Pal Suri left India for the U.K. The first thing he does on his arrival in England is to buy two Super-8 cameras, two projectors and two reel to reel recorders. One set of equipment he sends to his family in India, the other he keeps for himself. For 40 years he uses it to share his new life abroad with those back home – images of snow, miniskirted ladies dancing bare-legged, the first trip to an English supermarket – his taped thoughts and observations providing a unique chronicle of the eccentricities of his new English hosts. Back in India, his relatives in turn, respond with their own ‘cine-letters’ telling tales of weddings, festivals and village life. As time passes and the planned return to India becomes an increasingly remote possibility, the joy and curiosity of the early exchanges give way to the darker reality of alienation, racism and a family falling apart. A bitter-sweet time capsule of alienation, discovery, racism and belonging, I for India is a chronicle of immigration in sixties Britain and beyond, seen through the eyes of one Asian family and their movie camera.

Director: Sandhya Suri
Year: 2007
Distributer: ICA Projects

Hytner, Nicholas (dir). The Lady in the Van


The Lady in the Van tells the true story of Alan Bennett’s strained friendship with Miss Mary Shepherd, an eccentric homeless woman whom Bennett befriended in the 1970s before allowing her to temporarily park her Bedford van in the driveway of his London Borough of Camden home. She stayed there for 15 years.

Directed by     Nicholas Hytner
Produced by     Nicholas Hytner, Damian Jones, Kevin Loader
Screenplay by     Alan Bennett

Glynne, Andy (dir). Animated Minds


“Animated Minds was conceived in 2003 as an attempt to communicate the subjective experience of mental health problems to a wider audience. The idea was simple: to take the testimony of a variety of people who have experienced mental distress, and then to try to animate their experience. The result, it was hoped, would be a series of engaging short films which would give a general audience a greater understanding of what it feels like to live with various mental difficulties.”

There are seven films in total all available to view at

Glatzer, Richard, Westmoreland, Wash (dirs). Still Alice

A 2014 film based on Lisa Genova’s 2007 bestselling novel of the same name. The film stars Julianne Moore as Alice Howland, a linguistics professor at Columbia diagnosed with familial Alzheimer’s disease.

Director: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland
Writer: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland
Year: 2014

Docter, Pete, Del Carmen, Ronaldo (dirs). Inside Out.


After young Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco, her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness – conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school.

Director: Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen
Writer: Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley, Ronnie del Carmen
Year: 2015

There is an interesting review both of the film and some of the psychological science it draws on at the BMJ Medical Humanities blog >here<

Granik, Debra (dir). Down to the Bone


A woman stuck in a stale marriage struggles to raise her children and manage her secret drug habit. But when winter comes to her small town, her balancing act begins to come crashing down.

Year: 2004
Director: Debra Granik
Writer: Debra Granik

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Dardenne, Jean-Pierre, Dardenne Luc (dir). Two days, one night.


Sandra, a young Belgian mother, discovers that her workmates have opted for a significant pay bonus, in exchange for her dismissal. She has only one weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses so that she can keep her job.

Year: 2014
Director: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Writer: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

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Haneke, Michael (dir). Amour


Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple’s bond of love is severely tested.

Year: 2012
Director: Michael Haneke
Writer: Michael Haneke

mind_on_film (spoiler alert)

Campion, Jane (dir). An Angel at my Table.


In 1920s and 1930s New Zealand, Janet Frame grows up in a poor family with lots of brothers and sisters. Already at an early age she is different from the other kids. She gets an education as a teacher but since she is considered abnormal she stays at a mental institution for eight years. Success comes when she starts to write novels.

Year: 1990
Director: Jane Campion
Writer: Laura Jones, Janet Frame

Russell, David O (dir). Silver Linings Playbook


After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.

Year: 2012
Director: David O. Russell
Writer: David O. Russell

Brooks, James L (dir). Terms of Endearment


Aurora and Emma are mother and daughter who march to different drummers. Beginning with Emma’s marriage, Aurora shows how difficult and loving she can be. The movie covers several years of their lives as each finds different reasons to go on living and find joy. Aurora’s interludes with Garrett Breedlove, retired astronaut and next door neighbor are quite striking. In the end, different people show their love in very different ways.

Producers: James L. Brooks
Year: 1983
Director: James L. Brooks
Writer: James L. Brooks

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Ramis, Harold (dir). Analyze This


Ben Sobol, Psychiatrist, has a few problems: His son spies on his patients when they open up their heart, his parents don’t want to attend his upcoming wedding and his patients’ problems don’t challenge him at all. Paul Vitti, Godfather, has a few problems as well: Sudden anxiety attacks in public, a certain disability to kill people and his best part ceasing service when needed. One day, Ben unfortunately crashes into one of Vitti’s cars. The exchange of Ben’s business card is followed by a business visit of Don Paul Vitti himself, who wants to be free of inner conflict within two weeks, before all the Mafia Dons meet.

Producers: Paula Weinstein, Jane Rosenthal
Year: 1999
Director: Harold Ramis
Writer: Kenneth Lonergan, Peter Tolan, Harold Ramis

Clark, Larry (dir). Kids


Disturbing, dark, low-budget independent film about teenagers in New York City. The story focuses on Telly (Leo Fitzpatrick), a teen who has a goal to de-flower as many virgins as he can. When one of his old encounters discovers that she is HIV-positive, after only one encounter with a guy, Telly remains undaunted.

Producers: Christine Vachon, Gus Van Sant, Cary Woods, Cathy Konrad
Year: 1995
Director:  Larry Clark
Writer: Gary Lennon

Cohn, Peter (dir). Drunks


At the beginning of a nightly Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, Jim seems particularly troubled. His sponsor encourages him to talk that night, the first time in seven months, so he does – and leaves the meeting right after. As Jim wanders the night, searching for some solace in his old stomping grounds, bars and parks where he bought drugs, the meeting goes on, and we hear the stories of survivors and addicts – some, like Louis, who claim to have wandered in looking for choir practice, who don’t call themselves alcoholic, and others, like Joseph, whose drinking almost caused the death of his child – as they talk about their lives at the meeting.

Producers: Peter Cohn
Year: 1995
Director: Peter Cohn
Writer: Gary Lennon

Greengrass, Paul (dir). The Theory of Flight


A dreamer who aspires to human flight is assigned public service after one of his attempts off a public building. This leads him to meeting a young woman, who is dying of motor neurone disease. The strong-willed woman admits her wish to be de-flowered before her death. The man, struggling to maintain his relationship with his girl friend, declines but offers to help pay for a gigolo to do the deed. The following events play off the inherent comedy and drama of the circumstances.

Producers: Ruth Caleb, Anant Singh, Helena Spring
Year: 1998
Director: Paul Greengrass
Writer: Richard Hawkins


Miller, George (dir). Lorenzo’s Oil


A boy develops a disease so rare that nobody is working on a cure, so his father decides to learn all about it and tackle the problem himself.

Producers: Doug Mitchell, George Miller
Year: 1992
Director: George Miller
Writer: George Miller, Nick Enright

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Hallström, Lasse (dir). What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?


What’s Eating Gibert Grape is a beautifully shot movie of tenderness, caring and self-awareness that is set amongst the fictional working class one street town Endora. Centred around the Grape family Ellen and Amy and their two brothers Arnie and Gilbert, who, along with their morbidly obese widowed mother Bonnie Grape are striving to survive and coexist with the absence of a father figure, low wage work and seventeen-year-old Arnie’s severe mental condition.

Producers: David Matalon, Bertil Ohlsson, Meir Teper
Year: 1993
Director: Lasse Hallström
Writer: Peter Hedges

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Redford, Robert (dir). Ordinary People


The accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the bitter mother, the good-natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son.

Producers: Ronald L. Schwary
Year: 1980
Director: Robert Redford
Writer: Alvin Sargent

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Figgis, Mike (dir). Mr Jones


The story about the relationship between a manic depressive man, Mr Jones, and the female doctor who takes more than a professional interest in his treatment.

Producers:Debra Greenfield, Alan Greisman
Year: 1993
Director: Mike Figgis
Writer: Eric Roth, Michael Cristofer

Mandoki, Luis (dir). When a Man Loves a Woman


An airline pilot and his wife are forced to face the consequences of her alcoholism when her addictions threaten her life and their daughter’s safety. While the woman enters detox, her husband must face the truth of his enabling behavior.

Producers: Jon Avnet
Year: 1994
Director: Luis Mandoki
Writer: Ronald Bass, Al Franken

mind_on_film (spoiler alert)

McGuiness, Frank. A Short Stay in Switzerland

This TV programme is made available via the Education Recording Agency (ERA) licence, as such the following link will only work via a computer on the HYMS network.

>click here<

Having recently witnessed the death of her husband from a neurological disease, Anne Turner is diagnosed with a near-identical illness and determines to end her life once her condition has reached a critical point.

As her health deteriorates, Anne’s son and two daughters struggle to reach a consensus over their mother’s intentions and while they search for alternative options, silent recriminations and stubborn practicality threaten to tear the family apart. With her family at logger heads, Anne must also face the fury of her best friend, whose opposing views bring them into direct conflict.

Oz, Frank (dir). What about Bob?


A successful psychotherapist loses his mind after one of his most dependent patients, a manipulative, obsessively compulsive narcissist, tracks him down during his family vacation.

Producers: Laura Ziskin
Year: 1991
Director: Frank Oz
Writer: Tom Schulman

Winkler, Irwin (dir). Life as a House


When a man is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he takes custody of his misanthropic teenage son, for whom quality time means getting high, engaging in small-time prostitution, and avoiding his father.

Producers: Rob Cowan, Irwin Winkler
Year: 2001
Director: Irwin Winkler
Writer: Mark Andrus

Goldberg, Garry David (dir). Dad


A busy, “always-on-the-run” executive learns during a meeting that his mother may be dying and rushes home to her side. He ends up being his father’s caretaker and becomes closer to him than ever before. In the process, he teaches his father to be more independent which causes problems with the man’s wife. Estranged from his own son, the executive comes to realize what has been missing in his own life.

Producers: Gary David Goldberg, Joseph Stern
Year: 1989
Director: Gary David Goldberg
Writer: Gary David Goldberg, William Wharton

Haynes, Todd (dir). [Safe]


Set in an affluent neighbourhood of the San Fernando Valley in 1987, the film recounts the life of a seemingly unremarkable homemaker, Carol White (Julianne Moore) who develops multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS, also known as “Twentieth-Century Disease”).

Producer: Christine Vachon
Year: 1995
Director: Todd Haynes
Writer: Todd Haynes

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button_hyms (teaching resource – medically unexplained symptoms)

Boyle, Danny (dir). Trainspotting


A wild, freeform, Rabelaisian trip through the darkest recesses of Edinburgh low-life, focusing on Mark Renton and his attempt to give up his heroin habit, and how the latter affects his relationship with family and friends: Sean Connery wannabe Sick Boy, dimbulb Spud, psycho Begbie, 14-year-old girlfriend Diane, and clean-cut athlete Tommy, who’s never touched drugs but can’t help being curious about them…

Producers: Andrew Macdonald
Year: 1996
Director:Danny Boyle
Writer: John Hodge

button_hyms (teaching resource – drug use)

Eyre, Richard (dir). Iris


A biographical film that tells the story of novelist Iris Murdoch and her relationship with John Bayley. The film contrasts the start of their relationship, when Murdoch (Kate Winslet) was an outgoing, dominant individual as compared to her timid and scholarly partner Bayley (Hugh Bonneville), and their later life, when Murdoch (Judi Dench) was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and tended to by a frustrated Bayley (Jim Broadbent) in their North Oxford home in Charlbury Road.

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Payne, Alexander (dir). About Schmidt


The film follows Schmidt as he retires from his pedestrian job, followed by the death of his wife for whom he had lost affection. He goes on a road trip in order to attend the wedding of his only daughter to a man and into a family he does not particularly like, compelling him to reflect on his life throughout the film.

Producers: Michael Besman, Harry Gittes, Rachael Horovitz
Year: 2002
Director: Alexander Payne
Writer: Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor

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Zaks, Jerry (dir). Marvin’s Room


A man who had a stroke 17 years ago is left incapacitated and bed-ridden. He has been cared for by his daughter Bessie (Diane Keaton) in their Florida home, and totally ignored by his other daughter, Lee (Meryl Streep), who moved to Ohio with her husband 20 years ago and has never contacted her family. Now, however, Bessie’s doctor has informed her that she has leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant and she turns to her sister for help. Lee, in turn, turns to her son Hank (Leonardo DiCaprio), who has been committed to a mental institution for setting fire to his mother’s house. When Lee finds that she may have to take over her father’s care, she at first begins shopping around for nursing homes. Eventually, however, the once-estranged family grows close.

Producers: Scott Rudin Productions
Year: 1996
Director: Jerry Zaks
Writer: Scott McPherson, John Guare

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Ross, Herbert (dir). Steel Magnolias


A 1989 American comedy-drama directed by Herbert Ross. It is the film adaptation of Robert Harling’s 1987 play of the same name about the bond a group of women share surrounding the family experience during the death of the playwright’s sister, Susan Harling Robinson in 1985.

Producers: Ray Stark, Andrew Stone, Victoria White
Year: 1989
Director: Herbert Ross
Writer: Robert Harling

Allen Woody (dir). Sleeper



Sleeper is a 1973 futuristic comic science fiction film, written by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman, and directed by Allen. The plot involves the adventures of the owner (played by Woody Allen) of a health food store who is cryogenically frozen in 1973 and defrosted 200 years later in an ineptly-led police state.

Producers: Jack Grossberg
Year: 1973
Director: Woody Allen
Writer: Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman

button_hyms (teaching resource – risk factors for disease)

Allen, Woody (dir). Hannah and her Sisters


Hannah and Her Sisters is a 1986 American comedy-drama film which tells the intertwined stories of an extended family over two years that begins and ends with a family Thanksgiving dinner.

Producers: Robert Greenhut
Year: 1986
Director: Woody Allen
Writer: Woody Allen

button_hyms (teaching resource – doctor-patient communication and somatisation)

button_hyms (teaching resource – doctor-patient communication and anxiety)

button_hyms (teaching resource – infertility)

Brooks, James L. As Good as it Gets


New York City. Melvin Udall, a cranky, bigoted, obsessive-compulsive writer, finds his life turned upside down when neighbouring gay artist Simon is hospitalised and his dog is entrusted to Melvin. In addition, Carol, the only waitress who will tolerate him, must leave work to care for her sick son, making it impossible for Melvin to eat breakfast.

Producers: James L. Brooks, Bridget Johnson, Kristi Zea
Year: 1997
Director: James L. Brooks
Writer: Mark Andrus, James L. Brooks

button_hyms (teaching resource – obsessive compulsive disorder)


Haines, Randa (dir). The Doctor.


Jack McKee is a doctor with it all: he’s successful, he’s rich, and he has no problems…. until he is diagnosed with throat cancer. Now that he has seen medicine, hospitals, and doctors from a patient’s perspective, he realises that there is more to being a doctor than surgery and prescriptions.

Producers: Laura Ziskin
Year: 1991
Director: Randa Haines
Writer: Robert Caswell

Joffé, Roland (dir). City of Joy


Hasari Pal (Om Puri) is a rural farmer who moves to Calcutta with his wife (Shabana Azmi) and three children in search of a better life. They are cheated out of their rent money and thrown out on the streets, and it’s difficult for Hasari to find a job to support them.
Meanwhile, on the other end of Calcutta, Max Lowe (Patrick Swayze), a doctor disillusioned by an easy job in a Houston hospital, has arrived in search of spiritual enlightenment after the loss of a patient there. However, he encounters misfortune as soon as he arrives.
Hasari comes to Max’s aid and takes the injured doctor to the “City of Joy,” a slum area populated with lepers and poor people that becomes the Pals’ new home and the American’s home away from home.

Producers:Jake Eberts, Roland Joffé
Year: 1992
Director: Roland Joffé
Writer: Mark Medoff

Brooks, Richard (dir). Crisis


Dr Ferguson is a brain surgeon, on vacation with his wife in a small Spanish-speaking country. This is actually a dictatorship ruled by tyrant Raoul Farrago. As they leave the country, Dr and Madam are arrested and lead to Farrago. He has a tumor that has to be removed quickly. Ferguson’s duty is to cure sick people, but letting Farrago die would be a relief for the people…

Producers: Arthur Freed
Year: 1950
Director: Richard Brooks
Writer: Richard Brooks

Hicks, Scott (dir). Shine.


Based on the true story of Australian pianist David Helfgott, this delightful movie charts the traumatic early years through adulthood. Telling the story in flashback we see David as a child prodigy and as he grows up while his patriarchal father abuses him and his siblings with the memory of his childhood in Europe and the loss of his family in the concentration camps. David finally breaks away from his father and goes away to study overseas, he later suffers a breakdown and returns to Australia and a life in an institution. Many years later he is released and through several twists of fate (in reality even more unlikely than film portrays) he starts playing a piano in a bar before finally returning to the concert hall.

Producers: Jane Scott
Year: 1996
Director: Scott Hicks
Writer: Scott Hicks

Cellan Jones, Simon (dir). Some Voices

The film’s central character, Ray (Daniel Craig), has schizophrenia. The story begins with Ray’s discharge from psychiatric hospital. Ray’s devoted brother Pete (David Morrissey) picks him up and drives Ray to his new abode, the spare room in Pete’s West London flat. Pete is a chef who works long hours in the café (a traditional ‘greasy spoon’ during the day and a trendy eatery in the evening) that he inherited from his father. He now has to find the time to take care of Ray and monitor the medication that controls the voices in his head.

Producers: Damian Jones, Graham Broadbent
Year: 2000
Director: Simon Cellan Jones
Writer: Joe Penhall

Bergman, Ingmar (dir). Wild Strawberries.


Explores the disillusionment of an elderly physician, Professor Isak Borg, as he reflects upon his life and begins to perceive his mortality. As he travels to Lund to receive an honorary award after 50 years of medical practice, he finds himself repeatedly affected by intrusive dreams and hallucinations that expose his darkest fears. He slowly comes to realize that the choices he made in the past have created a cold and empty life, devoid of real meaning or value. Finally, he achieves redemption and reintegration through forgiveness and the love of his family.

Producers: Allan Ekelund
Year: 1957
Director: Ingmar Bergman
Writer: Ingmar Bergman

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Frears, Stephen (dir). Dirty pretty things


Okwe is an illegal Nigerian immigrant leading a hard life and struggling to survive in London’s underground. He works as a hotel receptionist in the night time and as he has a doctor degree he practices some medicine, during the day, in a very odd way. Besides that he must constantly escape from Immigration officers. One day Okwe discovers by chance an illegal scheme of surgeries is being lead by Juan, his boss in the hotel. Juan quickly comes up with a tempting proposal: if Okwe accepts to perform the illegal surgeries he makes a lot of money and gets legalized situation in the U.K. Can Okwe keep his moral values intact?

Producers: Robert Jones, Tracey Seaward
Year: 2002
Director: Stephen Frears
Writer: Steven Knight

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Koster, Henry (dir). Harvey


Due to his insistence that he has an invisible six-foot rabbit for a best friend, a whimsical middle-aged man is thought by his family to be insane – but he may be wiser than anyone knows.

Producers: John Beck
Year: 1950
Director: Henry Koster
Writer: Mary Chase, Oscar Brodney, Myles Connolly

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Neame, Ronald (dir) Windom’s way


A doctor’s sophisticated wife joins him at his remote Asian practice to try and patch up their marriage. Increasingly violent friction between local rubber plantation workers and the authorities force both parties to make decisions.

Producers: John Bryan, John Hawkesworth, Earl St. John
Year: 1957
Director: Ronald Neame
Writer: Jill Craigie

Almodóvar, Pedro. The skin I live in.

Quad_Skin I Live In_AW.indd

A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession.

Producers: Agustín Almodóvar, Pedro Almodóvar
Year: 2011
Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Writer: Pedro Almodóvar

Macdonald, Kevin (dir). The last king of Scotland.


The Last King of Scotland tells the fictional story of Dr. Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy), a young Scottish doctor who travels to Uganda and becomes the personal physician to the dictator Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker). The film is based on factual events of Amin’s rule and the title comes from a reporter in a press conference who wishes to verify whether Amin declared himself the King of Scotland.

Producers: Charles Steel, Lisa Bryer, Andrea Calderwood
Year: 2007
Director: Kevin MacDonald
Writer: Peter Morgan, Jeremy Brock

Morahan, Christopher (dir). Paper Mask


Londoner Matthew Harris (Paul McGann) feels he’s destined for more in life than being a hospital porter. After a doctor who resembles him dies in a car accident, Harris takes it as an opportunity to improve his lot. Assuming the man’s identity, Harris nabs a position in a Bristol emergency room. There, he embarks on a romance with nurse Christine Taylor (Amanda Donohoe). But before long his past — and his lack of medical experience — come back to haunt him.

Production: British Screen Productions, Channel Four Films, Granada Television, Paper Mask
Year: 1990
Director: Christopher Morahan

Mangold, James (dir). Girl Interrupted.

Based on writer Susanna Kaysen’s account of her 18-month stay at a mental hospital in the 1960s.

Producers: Douglas Wick, Cathy Konrad, Winona Ryder (executive), Carol Bodie (executive)
Year: 1999
Director: James Mangold
Writers: James Mangold, Linda Loomer, Anna Hamilton Palmer

Bhave, Sumitra; Sukthankar, Sunil (dirs). Devrai

Devrai is the story of Shesh Shahi (Atul Kulkarni), a brilliant but eccentric man. While living with his family in a village in the Konkan region of the state of Maharashtra in India, Shesh becomes increasingly obsessed with a small patch of forest near his home which he calls as “Devrai” (meaning ‘sacred grove’ in Marathi) and starts o feel that the perfect harmony between the biological factors in Devrai offer a solution to the chaos which he perceives in the outside world. He is later diagnosed with schizophrenia and his younger sister Seena Gore (Sonali Kulkarni) tries to cure him by seeking professional help.

Producers: Schizophrenia Awareness Association
Year: 2004
Director: Sumitra Bhave, Sunil Sukthankar

Anderson, Lindsay (dir). Britannia Hospital

Mick Travis is a reporter who is about to shoot a documentary on Britannia Hospital, an institution which mirrors the downsides of British Society. It’s the day when Her Royal Highness is to visit the hospital to inaugurate a new wing, where advanced (and sinister) scientific experiments led by Prof. Millar will take place. Everybody in the hospital, from the cooks who refuse to cook, to the painters who couldn’t care less to get their job done, to an African cannibalistic dictator (a la Amin Dada) whom demonstrators want expelled from the hospital and tried, will contribute to making HRH’s visit (and Mick Travis’s life) a true nightmare.

Mike Hardey HYMS: A NHS comedy follows a local hospital preparing for a visit from the Queen Mother. A cannibalistic dictator threatens to eat a patient and countless obstacles threaten to divert the Queen’s visit.

Production: EMI Films
Year: 1982
Director: Anderson, Lindsay
Writer: Sherwin, David

Schnabel, Julian (dir). The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Director: Julian Schnabel
Produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Jon Kilik
Year: 2007

Mike Hardey HYMS: The true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby who suffers a stroke and has to live with an almost totally paralysed body…

There’s also a page for the original book here

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mind_on_film (spoiler alert)

Simon, D. The Wire

The Wire is an HBO series  that for many is the best TV for a decade or two. It is not the Bill !

Set in Baltimore the main writer   spent 12 years police reporting for the Baltimore Sun.  Early episodes focused on  the drug trade in the West Baltimore projects but later the series moves onto city politics, the education system and international crime and the media. Many of the actors came from the streets.The ‘star’ of the show is the city – a simulated post-industrial every town – within which the interactions between the drugs economy, race, the criminal justice system take place. ‘The Wire has been described as the  best ethnographic text on the and a Dicken’s ‘novel’ for the C20.

Great characters – it will make you laugh, cry and think – probably change your mind about drug policy and you will never trust what you read and hear on the news again.  Hmm perhaps you should not see – stick to those Bill DVDs or Inspector Morse….

DVDs series 1-5

Niccol, Andrew (dir). Gattaca

Mike Hardy HYMS: “There is a link to the plenary on medical and social aspects of genetics (Y1Term1) here – so you are watching a film and studying at the same time.  It stars Ethan Hawke, Jude Law and Uma Thurman – so something for everyone (and aren’t they genetically engineered anyway?).  The plot is about a future, where corporations screen their employees based on their genetic makeup.   Close to reality then – as a man with a congenital heart condition tries to assume the identity of a former athlete with perfect genes in order to fulfil his dream of travelling in space.

Director: Niccol, Andrew
Writer: Niccol, Andrew
Production: Columbia Pictures
Year: 1998

 (spoiler alert)

Viewer Comments:

Would recommend for year 1 term 1 having watched for this purpose, it is interesting
and useful

Murray, G. Dr Mopp from Camberwick Green

Camberwick Green first went to air in January 1966. Although he had a bit part in the first episode, Dr Mopp’s big break came on the 24th January 1966 when he took the lead role. Dr Mopp was overlooked for the whole series of Trumpton, but made a dramatic return to our screens in October 1969 when he called at Chigley Pottery to buy a vase for his sister Millicent.

If you want a doctor,
Get Doctor Mopp,
For he can stop
A sneeze or
a wheeze,
Or a lump or a bump,
A headache or a sprain,
Or rheumaticy pain.
So if you’re feeling sickly,
Please call him quickly.
He can cure all ills,
With his pale pink medicine,
And sugar coated pills.

For more than enough Trumptonshire information click here


Viewer Comments:

Indeed. His individual episode involves the case of the over-anxious mother, how to spot the difference between measles and red paint, an army medical inspection (Sergeant Major Grout: ‘On my command TONGUES…. OUT!!’).
Other issues found in the series as a whole include a possible case of alcoholism (Windy Miller’s tendency for a bit too much cider), child neglect by Mrs Honeymann and factory farming versus organic produce (Farmer Bell v Windy).
Unfortunately I can’t find a clip of this on YouTube with Dr Mopp…. but the classic opening, as
used by the later Life on Mars for one episode, is available at (Windy Miller).
My wee one is hooked on this at the moment….

Mercurio, J. Bodies

This is the start of series one – and gives a very good idea of what’s to come.

Andy Kardasz HYMS: A TV programme that springs to mind  is the BBC TV series ‘Bodies’ by Jed Mercurio (a former medic).Among other things portrays the dilemma a young medic has working with an incompetent Consultant in an Obs And Gynae ward in a hospital. (Jed Mercurio also wrote as John MacUre and before ‘Bodies’ also wrote the similarly dark TV series ‘Cardiac Arrest’)

Minghella, A. (dir) Truly, Madly, Deeply

Jonathan Bynoe (HYMS): I recently re-watched Truly Madly Deeply (available on DVD) by Anthony Minghella, starring Juliet Stephenson & Alan Rickman. It is a wonderful exploration of bereavement,
in this case of a young woman whose cellist husband dies suddenly in the first flush of their relationship. It portrays the effect of her loss, and the stages from denial to acceptance of her bereavement. It shows as external happenings the changes that are going on in her brain. More importantly, it is both happy and sad, occasionally very funny, in the way that bereavement sometimes is. It taught me a lot.

Title: Truly, Madly, Deeply, MGM, 1990.
Direction: Minghella, Anthony
Cooper, Robert
Writing: Minghella, Anthony

Viewer Comments:


Juliet Stevenson’s acting is astounding, the ‘I miss him, I miss him…’ sequence is guaranteed to stay with you. (Film written and directed by the late Anthony Minghella,famous Hull University student)

Potter, D. The Singing Detective

The original televison series was broadcast on the BBC in 1986, the six episodes merge ‘storylines’ from three settings a ‘pulp fiction’ thriller, childhood memory and the hospital ward in which the main character is being treated for his severe psoriasis. Many aspects of the work were drawn from experience, the writer Dennis Potter suffered from psoriasis.

This short clip gives a little sense of the rich observation, visual invention, humour and humanity of the best of Potter’s work…

Credits:  Produced by Kenith Trodd and John Harris. Written by Dennis Potter. Directed by Jon  Amiel. Original music by Stanley Myers.
Cast:  (Includes) Michael Gambon,
Patrick Malahide, Joanne Whalley, Janet Suzman, Lyndon Davies.
Date:  Originally issued 1986.

Scott, Ridley (dir). Blade Runner

Mike Hardy HYMS: “Another genetics plenary link (Y1Term1). Something of a classic and available in various directors cuts.  Stunning imagery and very influential in how movies depict dystopian futures. The plot – briefly – is about a future in which the technology to create “replicants”, genetic engineered human clones is used to serve in the colonies outside earth. When a group of them rebel and escape to earth, a retired cop (Harrison Ford) is employed to hunt down and “retire” artificial manufactured humanoids.

Director: Scott, Ridley
Writers: Fancher, Hampton; People,
David; based on the book “
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by Philip K Dick
Year: 1982


Viewer Comments:


‘I’ve seen things you people would not believe’ is the start of the most stunning of short monologues

Macdonald, Kevin. Life in a Day.

Ying Sun HYMS: I want to suggest a Film: Life in a Day. It is a crowd sourced documentary film, made from a series of video clips from 80,000 clips, submitted by people from all around the worlds, from the streets of New York, to the slums of bangladesh and to the mountains of Tibet, all of it filmed by people using hand held cameras.

Its not just a movie from morning to night, but also one about life and death, light and dark, the clips merge into one and resonate against each other in a thought provoking way. Definately worth a look 🙂

Now this film is available to view free on YouTube – where this all began >click here<

Marshall, Penny (dir). Awakenings.

Mike Hardey HYMS: Robin Williams (annoying) as Dr. Malcom Sayer pioneering the use a new drug, L-Dopa, to revive catatonic patients. He finds, however, that his patients always return to their original state no matter what he does.  Based on Oliver Sacks’ book

Director: Penny Marshall
Studio: Columbia
Year: 1990

(spoiler alert)

Coen, Joel; Coen, Ethan (dirs). The Big Lebowski


When “The Dude” Lebowski is mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, two thugs urinate on his rug to coerce him into paying a debt he knows nothing about. While attempting to gain recompense for the ruined rug from his wealthy counterpart, he accepts a one-time job with high pay-off. He enlists the help of his bowling buddy, Walter, a gun-toting Jewish-convert with anger issues. Deception leads to more trouble, and it soon seems that everyone from porn empire tycoons to nihilists want something from The Dude.

Producers: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner
Year: 1998
Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Writers: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Shadyac, Tom (dir). Patch Adams

Producers: Mike Farrell, Barry Kemp, Marvin Minoff, Charles Newirth, Marsha Garces
Year: 1998
Director: Tom Shadyac
Screenplay: Steve Oedekerk

Gofannon Le Boutillier HYMS student: In this biographical drama Robin Williams stars as the real life American physician Dr Hunter ‘Patch’ Adams.

Patch founded the Gesundheit Institute in 1971, a non-profit health care organization founded on the principle that one cannot separate the health of the individual from the health of the family, the community, the world or the health care system itself. The institute began life in West Virginia as a free community hospital staffed entirely by volunteers. Central to its ethos is the philosophy that laughter and play are essential components of effective medical care. Today, Gesundheit runs a global outreach programme and has provided humanitarian aid, medical education and clowning missions in over 65 countries. 

The film opens with Adams committing himself into a psychiatric hospital. Depressed and suicidal, he seeks deliverance through the medical profession. However, life as a patient is not easy and in the sterile, sombre confines of the hospital, he struggles with his cold and uncompassionate psychiatrist. Patch gradually begins to bond with his fellow patients and through them is inspired to become a doctor. In one hilarious scene, Adams’s cellmate trembles in fear as imaginary squirrels encircle his bed. Patch dispatches the furry menace with an imaginary bazooka and a doctor is born!

Fast forward two years and Patch begins medical school where he soon bumps heads with the pompous Dean Walcott. The Dean, a staunch advocate of distancing oneself from the patient to effectively treat disease proclaims; “our job is to rigorously and ruthlessly train the humanity out of you and make you into something better. We’re gonna make doctors out of you.” Unconvinced by such rhetoric, trouble begins when Patch starts making unauthorised ward rounds and befriending patients.

A scene where Adams entertains children on a cancer ward using his own brand of slapstick clowning (substituting an enema bulb for a clowns nose) is particularly touching. The stage is set for a climatic showdown as the dedicated Adams ruffles the administrative feathers of Dean Walcott.

Robin Williams is expertly cast as the warm hearted, maverick medical student and has some of the best lines in the film “You treat a disease, you win, you loose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.” The script is genuinely funny (look out for the gynaecological convention) and there are just enough dramatic twists to keep things interesting.

What would Patch make of medical education today?
As set out by the GMC in Tomorrow’s Doctors (2009) and Good Medical Practice (2006), effective communication and a patient-centred approach to healthcare are at the forefront of UK undergraduate and postgraduate curricula. Through innovative teaching practices such as Problem Based Learning and early patient contact, today’s medical graduates work in partnership with their patients. Patient’s views about their own health are valued and their concerns and preferences are given voice.

I’m sure the real Patch would approve. So, should Patch Adams be required viewing for doctors? Perhaps not, but if you think laughter really is the best medicine and are prepared to overlook the sentimental Hollywood clichés, then you won’t go far wrong with his thoughtful and intelligent film.

Walker, A. The Color Purple

Set in the deep American south between the wars, this is the classic tale of Celie, a young poor black girl. Raped repeatedly by her father, she loses two children and then is married off to a man who treats her no better than a slave. She is separated from her sister Nettie and dreams of becoming like the glamorous Shug Avery, a singer and rebellious black woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually Celie discovers the support of women that enables her to leave the past behind and begin a new life. 

Author: Walker, Alice
Title: The Color Purple
Publisher: Phoenix
Year: 2004
ISBN: 0753818922

DVDs available on loan