The Screening Room: Cannes Film Festival Preview


Cannes, films and Medicine

The forthcoming Cannes Film Festival (11-22nd May 2016) is described by its director Thierry Fremaux as ‘A celebration of cinematographic art’ If you are lucky enough to be attending the glittering, entertaining and thought-provoking extravaganza, here are five films in the official selection exploring the lives of patients and doctors in extremis.

First is Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s ‘The unknown girl’ reflecting on the professional and moral dilemma a doctor faces after a young girl she refused to admit to hospital, dies in suspicious circumstances. A man’s existential crisis at the face of terminal illness is the focus of Xavier Dolan’s ‘It’s only the end of the world’. The turbulent life of international relief doctors surviving daily humanitarian catastrophes is the subject of Sean Penn’s ‘The last face’.  The private life of a neurologist going through a mid-life crisis and the complicated relationships with his wife, and family are dissected in ‘Sierra-nevada’ directed by Cristi Puiu. ‘I, Daniel Blake’, the new film from Ken Loach delves into the substantial divide between health and social care faced by a carpenter who falls ill, and struggles to navigate the bewildering world of welfare support. Showcasing films from Belgium, Canada, USA, Romania, and the UK respectively, the above films offer a rich cinematic experience that embodies the ever growing bonds between medicine and humanities.


Address for correspondence: Dr Khalid Ali, Screening Room editor,

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