School of Health Sciences Film Club

1st March 2-5pm  Trainspotting (1996)


Trainspotting (1996) depicts a story about heroin users in Edinburgh in the 1980s and 90s. On 1st March the SHS film clubs screening was introduced by mental health nursing senior lecturer Lorna Saunder with an exploration of the challenges of and success in caring for heroin users in the last fifty years.  Those attending the screening included students and staff from adult, child and mental health.  After the film we discussed the relevance of the film to drug using today and the process of breaking the cycle of substance users.  How realistic topics were in the film was discussed. The structure of a heroin users day around getting the money for drugs, getting drugs and taking drugs was an example of what is captured well in the film.   The return of sexual libido after coming off heroin is another example.  It was suggested that if someone attends rehabilitation clinic and expects a ‘trainspotting’ experience then their hypnogogic experience is more likely to be like Renton’s in the film.    We also talked a bit about Trainspotting 2 and the maturation process by which most users grow out of being drug users.    The showing of the film also involved discussions with a substance use team who were enthusiastic to the film in an educational setting with a discussion with students; and a discussion on the use of subtitles for Deaf members of the university.

The SHS film clubs next screening will be I Daniel Blake (2016) in ELG15 on 5th April with a discussion led by Prof Amanda Burls.     The film shows the experience of people at different stages in their lifecourse who are incontact with social services.  The showing will be with subtitles.


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2 thoughts on “School of Health Sciences Film Club

  1. The screening of I, Daniel Blake on 6th April was attended by 19 people who are City, University of London students and staff. We started at 2pm with a brief presentation on the work capability assessment , Activity 3 of which we hear Daniel completing in the opening minutes of the film; the rise of food banks , such as those visited by Katy in IDB, who in many ways is like Cathy in Ken Loach’s (1966) Cathy Come Home (arguably the best TV drama ever?). Like Cathy, Katy spends time in a hostel for homeless mothers, but in the 21st Century, Katy is found a flat in Newcastle, where she moves with her children and they meet the eponymous Daniel.
    After the film the audience discussed their thoughts on the film. How systemisation has dehumanised the process of delivering social care. While some individuals still demonstrate care, and probably everyone joined the service with the a wish to care, over time many may lose their capacity to be compassionate to those who seek help. Those working in the charitable foodbank (who were probably volunteers) showed more compassion than most of those who worked in the department of work and pensions, with one notable exception. We thought about the challenge of staying compassionate when working in large bureaucratic organisations.

  2. 3rd May we will show The Theory of Everything(2014) a biographical drama about the physicist Stephen Hawkins and his career with motor neurone disease. The screening is being supported by MND Association whose representative will act as discussant for the film.

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