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NLM Fall Film Series

NLM Showcases Movie Masterpieces and Obscurities in its Fall Film Festival

NLM is pleased to present Strong Medicine, a festival of films that examine the cultural, social and existential meanings of disease and deformity, scientific medicine, the medical marketplace, treatment and cure, healing and health professionalism, living and dying.

The series will take place Thursdays at 6:00 PM in Lister Hill Center Auditorium, first floor of Bldg. 38A (directions below). Dates are Sept. 22-Nov. 17 (except Oct. 13 & Nov. 3).

Admission is free and all are welcome. Refreshments will be served in the lobby each evening.

Strong medicine is medicine that makes you feel something intensely- medicine that has a palpable effect on the body. These movies-many of them film masterpieces-make the viewer feel the complicated intensity of medical experience. They explore sickness and health; relations between doctor and patient, and scientist and research subject; and the peculiarities of life in the institutions where medicine is transacted-the hospital, the laboratory, the classroom, the doctor's office, the support group, and the human body.

Each evening will feature

  • introductory remarks by historians, film critics, or NIH scientists
  • one or more rare short historical medical films from the NLM collection
  • the feature presentation
  • a discussion period

The featured films appear below.

  • Sept 22: The Hospital (1971)
  • Sept 29: The Elephant Man (1980)
  • Oct 6: And the Band Played On (1993)
  • Oct 20: Safe (1995)
  • Oct 27: Pre-Halloween Creature Feature: Island of Lost Souls (1933)
  • Nov 10: Broadcast Medicine: Selected episodes of Ben Casey (1961), M*A*S*H (1972) & ER (1994)
  • Nov 17: Treasures of the NLM Film Collection: Short Historical Medical Films, 1920-1970

The Lister Hill Center (Building 38A), part of the National Library of Medicine, is located near the intersection of Center and Medlars Drives on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. "Strong Medicine" will take place in the Lister Hill Auditorium, on the first floor. The auditorium is also accessible via subway; Metro's "Medical Center" station, on the Red Line, is a short walk from the building's entrance. For directions, security information and other visitor information, please consult the Library's Web site at

Click below for a poster/announcement about the film series. The poster is in PDF format. PDF documents require the use of the Adobe® Acrobat® Reader, which can be downloaded from Adobe's Web site at no charge.

NLM Film Series 2005