Portal: Films on health

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Films on India


  • Smile Pinki (2009) - Oscar winning documentary about the struggle of children with cleft lip deformity.
  • The Final Inch (2009) - Oscar nominated documentary on the spirit and resilience of frontline workers in India's polio eradication programme.
  • Living with AIDS (2006) - Young women coping with HIV in the city of Bangalore discuss the discrimination and stigma that they face in Indian society.
  • The Human Question (2006) - Tracing the story of the global struggle to make HIV/AIDS drugs more affordable and available. The film raises key questions of whether private ownership of knowledge can be at the cost of human life
  • Something Like A War (1991) - A documentary by Deepa Dhanraj that examines India’s National Family Planning Program from the perspective of women, who are its primary targets.
  • In the Name of Medicine - A documentary by K.P. Sasi that analyses the medical practices in India and the drug industry in particular.
  • My Name Is Sister - The film captures the moment when in January 1987, nurses in the hospitals of Delhi went on mass strike to protest on certain basic issues affecting their lives.
  • Health Matters - A documentary by Shikha Jhingan that takes a panoramic look at health care in India through the everyday experiences of patients in both public and private hospitals.
  • Barefoot Doctors - A documentary by Ambarien Al Qadar that attempts to understand the nature of community health and the role of the community health worker through the exploration of four community health initiatives in India.

Feature films

  • [Nishant (1976)] - An awarding winning film by Shyam Benegal that focuses on the power of the rural elite, the sexual exploitation of women and the potential of the community to mobilise against such forces.

International films


  • Sicko (2007) - A documentary by Micheal Moore that takes a hard look at HMOs and compares the highly profitable American health care industry to other nations.
  • As The Call, So The Echo (2005) - A documentary about the transformative experience of an American ENT surgeon, Dr. Alex Moreano, during several weeks he spent as a volunteer physician in a Vietnamese hospital in 2003.
  • Hospital (1970) - An award winning film by Frederick Wiseman about the daily activities of the Metropolitan Hospital in New York City, with emphasis on the emergency ward and outpatient clinics
  • Titicut Follies (1967) - A disturbing documentary film by Frederick Wiseman about the treatment of inmates / patients at Bridgewater State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.

Feature films

  • Canary (2009) - An experimental film by Alejandro Adams set in a not-so-alternate universe in which organ harvesting is commonplace.
  • The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005) - Mr. Lazarescu, a 63 year old lonely man feels sick and calls the ambulance. When it arrives the doctor decides he should take him to the hospital but once there they decide to send him to another hospital and then yet another...
  • The Constant Gardner (2005) - A widower is determined to get to the bottom of a potentially explosive secret involving his wife's murder, Big Pharma and corporate corruption.
  • The Insider (1999) - The true story of a research chemist who comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a "60 Minutes" expose on Big Tobacco.
  • Patch Adams (1998) - Fact-based story of Hunter "Patch" Adams, a medical student in the 1970's who treated patients, illegally, using humour.
  • And The Band Played On (1991) - The story of the discovery of the AIDS epidemic and the political infighting of the scientific community hampering the early fight with it.
  • Bigger Than Life (1956) - A seriously ill schoolteacher becomes dependent on a "miracle" drug that begins to affect his sanity.
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