Panel 2: Education, Media, and Care.

Monday 5 September, 2016

By Gaby Smith and Zoë Shacklock.

  • Ben Lamb (Teeside), ‘Changing the welfare state: an investigation into the effects of alternative regional media on local services and recipients of care’
  • Christian Bonah and Joel Danet (Strasbourg), ‘Careful cinema: Educational utility film by and for physicians in France in the 1970s’
  • Nicole Matthews (Macquarie), ‘Teaching person-centred care for people with dementia through the “paranoid women’s film”’ (Skype)



-Using film, television, video (and literature) to challenge the discourses of care and engage with the difficult relationship on and off-screen.

-Cinema as a form of reconstituting the shared experience between patient/ doctor, cared for/ carer. In doing so, giving access to a person’s feelings.

–  Educational media material used for multiple reasons: to reflect, to teach, to educate and to cultivate feelings, empathy, care and understanding.


Panel 2 approached and challenged the varying discourses of care as seen on screen- with a particular focus on film, television, video. Ben Lamb‘s archival research and ongoing research discussed the work of Trade Films and Amber Films, honing in on the North East of England as a key case study. Reflecting on his current research, Lamb highlights to what extent regional media operating as mode of care through examples such as ‘OAPS‘, ‘Farewell to the Welfare State‘ and ‘Shield Stories‘. The latter example not only worked to remove the stigma of applying for help such as benefits, but through using the soap narrative and format which was to be screened in public spaces such as doctor’s surgeries- it was for all to see. (Sadly, the series was never broadcast as it was blocked by Local Authorities).

Using a small corpus of films identified as pertinent to this issue Christian Bonah and Joel Danet, find it not only interesting but highly important to theorise the question of audience- especially within the context of care. The films used are situated in this area of study, and seek to provide perspectives on educational and medical filmmaking as transitional objects of cinema. There is a wide gap between the field (where they are) and the theory (what they are confronted with).

Nicole Matthews discusses the concerns around an ‘uncomfortable’ pedagogy, person-centred care approaches, whilst drawing closely on the work of Tom Kitwood and contexts of malignant social psychology. She asks, what is the ‘paranoid women’s film’? Through thinking of Rebecca, the gothic genre and the idea of the imperilled woman playing out types of horror- care and the uncanniness of the space of the domestic are dominant themes of horror, the unsafe home and the gothic situation that ‘Darkness in the Afternoon’ explore.

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