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The Argentinean Connection

José Elías García Sánchez1, Enrique García Sánchez1, Laura María Moratal Ibáñez2

1Departamento de Medicina Preventiva, Salud Pública y Microbiología Médica. Facultad de Medicina. Universidad de Salamanca (España).

2Departamento de Salud Pública. Facultad de Medicina. Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina).

Correspondencia: José Elías García Sánchez. Facultad de Medicina. Alfonso X El Sabio s/n. 37007 Salamanca (España).

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Recibido el 23 de octubre de 2008; aceptado el 18 de noviembre de 2008


The title of this editorial is cinematographic, mimicking the movie of William Franklin The French Connection (1971), and expressive, in that it is an indication that this issue of the Journal of Medicine and Cinema mainly stems from Argentina, since most authors are from that country.

The first of them, Merino Vasiloff et al., deals with the experience of teaching virology at the School of Medicine of the Universidad Nacional del Nordeste1. This article directly tackles one of the primary aims of this publication; the promotion of the training of students and health professionals making use of films, an aim that has been mote than fulfilled over time. The choice of the film  And the Band Played on (1993), a docudrama exploring the first moments of the ADIS pandemic, is an apt decision. These experiences are transposable  in view of the change in university education currently taking place in Europe in accordance with the Bologna Accord.

Biopics about doctors allow much scope and a common theme within this  is the approach to more or less well known professionals in the field who, if not portrayed on the screen, might only occupy  a couple of lines in our memory. D’Ottavio Cattani proposes a look at Henirette Faver Caven through two short films directed by Lídice Pérez López: Enriqueta Faber (1998) and Favez (2004). The access of women to university education has been an undoubted topic in gender equality, an aspect denied by few in western civilization but one that has with time kindled much debate. These documentaries tell how Dr. Faver Caven had to dress as a man to achieve her aims2.

Using a very special cinematographic genre –a musical adapting opera– Botasso analyses the adaptation made by Franco Zeffirelli in 1986 of Shakespeare’s Othello, using the opera of Giuseppe Verdi and Arrigo Boito. This author is able to scrutinise the psychopathological scaffolding of the three main characters in the film, the opera and drama. He thus shows that in many films, with perspicacity, it is possible to discover more aspects than could be imagined a priori from their titles of foreseeable contents3.

The last article, by Moratal Ibáñez et al., addresses issues of great importance in the current society, and eventually in medicine; namely, obesity, diet, constitutional types, self-esteem, poor working conditions and their repercussions on health… The authors accomplish this using Real Women Have Curves (2002), by Patricia Cardoso4. Owing to its social impact, this film passed from the small to the big screen,, as was the case of And the Band Played on.

This issue ends with the presentation of the posters of some Argentinean films in which the presence of different diseases, some of them autochthonous, is a key aspect in the development of the action5.

These articles are referents of the Argentinean link, which is what the term Connection means. However, this host of ideas goes further. The present issue only reflects a trajectory that began when the Journal of Medicine and Movies was first set up. One of the Editorial Secretaries is Argentinean and regarding the number of visits to the different articles Spain and Argentina, they are at the forefront.

There is no question that physicians from both sides of the ocean have contributed strongly to the Journal and their contributions can be read with the different ways used to construct the Spanish of the different regions of both countries, and listening to the different accents.


References

  1. Merino Vasiloff LA, Esquivel Torres GP, Lifschitz Pagliera V. The Cinema as a Tool for the Teaching of Microbiology J Med Mov. 2008; 4(4): 145-147.
  2. D’Ottavio Cattani AE. Favez or the Secret of Henriette Faver Caven. J Med Mov. 2008; 4(4): 148-153.
  3. Bottasso O. Otello (1986): The story of a Perverse Man Harassing a Vulnerable One Man from a Literary, Musical and Cinematographic Perspective. J Med Mov. 2008; 4(4): 154-160.
  4. Moratal Ibañez LM, Pinotti LV, Witriw AM. Adolescence and the Risk of Stereotypes: Real Women Have Curves (2002). J Med Mov. 2008; 4(4): 161-168.
  5. García Sánchez JE, García Sánchez E, Moratal Ibañez LM. Medicine and Argentinian Cinema. J Med Mov. 2008; 4(4): 169-175.