Film is one of the most important tools we have to enable us to share our own experiences, and to understand the experiences of others. Human beings can find it very difficult to understand experiences outside of their own, and film has played a huge part in breaking down divisions in humanity by allowing us to understand the experiences of others.
The knock on effect of this is that industry and society begin to change. Just one example of this is the healthcare industry.
By portraying real people from stigmatized minorities, film allows us to see the humanity where previously we had perhaps seen fear or hatred.
A great example of this is 2013’s Dallas Buyers Club. There was and still is a great deal of stigma around HIV and AIDS, mostly rooted in the fact that people were terrified of contracting the disease themselves. People with HIV were discriminated against, losing their homes, jobs and relationships as a result.
By depicting people with HIV as real human beings with emotions and lives the same as the rest of us, the film helped to break down some of the stigma and fear around it which in turn empowers people to learn about the disease and better equip themselves against it. People tend to pretend that the things they are scared of just don’t exist, which is incredibly unhelpful in preventing the spread of disease.
The film also meant that lobbyists were better able to lobby for increased public health funding, because the film made the issue into one that the public cared about, politicians were motivated to make the issue a priority.
Public Health Film Festival
Echoing the effect of Dallas Buyers Club, Oxford’s Public Health Film Society has been running an annual film competition since 2016, where they encourage entrants from around the world to enter films about health issues that are personal to them, with the hope that awareness about public health issues will be raised among people who see the films.
With each film that becomes a success, healthcare professionals are likely to see impacts in their practice area, with people becoming more knowledgeable and more aware they are likely to ask more questions and seek out treatments that they may not have in the past.
This means that film can be used as an indicator of what types of treatments and questions healthcare providers are likely to see in their daily work. By utilizing specialized marketing firms, medical professionals can analyze the trends in film and make sure that they are ready to provide the services that the public wants them to. For more information on specialized healthcare marketing, check out clickintelligence.co.uk
Humanizing Healthcare Professionals
As well as humanizing stigmatized groups in society, film has also done a great job of reminding us all that doctors and other healthcare professionals are humans too. Seeing caring and overworked health professionals in film has helped to level the gulf between us, and helps us all to see that everyone is a human being and everyone has an individual emotional life.
This is perhaps the greatest power of film, to help us all to see the humanity in each other.