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History of Medicine in Motion



medical negligence under the new poor law

By kim.price, on 6 April 2009


Kim Price

6 Responses to “medical negligence under the new poor law”

  • 1
    Mike Stanley-Baker wrote on 19 April 2009:

    Kim, this has great impact, and makes your social history point very well – that it is the stories of the ill themselves that should be a starting point. What fun it must have been to make! One of the most dramatic points is the contrast between text and narrative at 3:23 – the poigniancy of a mother’s affection versus official categorization, and the multiple layers of significance that wind through any historical moment.

    At 4:10 you mention “a complex mix of methodologies, historiography and comparative histories.” This piques my intellectual interest, and I would have hung on for another minute at least to hear you describe this range in more detail.

    Lovely piece!

  • 2
    Kim.Price wrote on 21 April 2009:

    Mike, thank you so much for your positive comments! I must admit that it was great fun to make – but the guilt of enjoying work so much mixed with paranoia into a terrible insecurity about this film! So your positivity is gratefully received.

    Yes, the film could do with more intellectual depth. When weighing up the 5-minute time constraint with impact or intellectual fulfillment I went for impact (and, I hoped, engagement). The perfect footage/podcast would be one that had both. I think, though, that one of the greatest attributes of film in teaching is the ways that it can be used to grab your attention – in ways that ‘old’ media can’t. It may be used to pull an otherwise reluctant (or bored) student into a direction they otherwise wouldn’t have gone. I envisaged this film’s endpoint as the leaping point for a much more intellectually focused discussion/seminar/presentation on the themes touched on within it (particularly the methodological angle you wisely raised).

    While making this film, it struck me that maybe one of the greatest challenges of this workshop would be to find an engaging, stimulating and interesting way to incorporate methodologies (and historiography) into new media. I mean, making a methodological and historical approaches discussion really interesting for all, not just us obsessive historian types! It’s really quite a difficult balance and I can really sympathise with the challenges facing serious documentary makers. I think my film only chips away at this.

  • 3
    S.Kuriyama wrote on 4 May 2009:

    This historical reconstruction portion of this clip raises wonderful questions about the historian’s method. My suggestion would be to split the commentary into two, instead of leaving it all to the end. It might, that is, be useful to open by raising general questions about the aims and means of the historical analysis, and pointing to the particular example of the poor laws, accompanied by a slide or two (images from either primary documents or secondary studies, or both) representing the more conventional approach. After showing the reconstruction, the narrator could return to revisit the questions in light of what has just been seen, and leave the viewer with some explicit formulation of the provocative issues (fact, fiction, engagement) that such reconstructions suggest.

  • 4
    Carole.Reeves wrote on 14 May 2009:

    I was locked into this movie from the beginning. It opens like an inventive piece of storytelling but it soon becomes apparent that this is truly a ghastly historical reality. This is the type of movie that would do well in a museum to accompany the traditional textual information about workhouses. A couple of film maker’s observations – during the long ‘horse’ sequence, I was longing to see a cutaway of the mother’s face swaying in the carriage, and perhaps also a half-shadow shot of her son. A crack of the whip through air would have added a further dimension of cruelty. For your piece to camera, a black velvet background would have been more dramatic and disembodying than the filing cabinet and office junk. But well done – good, creative stuff.

  • 5
    Kim.Price wrote on 21 May 2009:

    Many thanks for your feedback. I’ve completely run out of time to make the changes to the film before Tuesday. However, I’m going to get this film online elsewhere, lengthen it and cut in the changes that have been suggested. After viewing some of the amazing films that have been uploaded on this site, I feel inspired to do more with this film. I agree with Carol that it may be well-suited to a museum and was bolstered to begin that process by her comments.

  • 6
    R.MacFarlane wrote on 25 May 2009:

    I too found this to be a very stimulating film, fitting some interesting material and techniques into its running time. I particularly enjoyed the visuals being a mix of colour and black and white, though I would personally have liked a pause in the narration at 3:24 when the text appeared on screen.

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