Monday, July 16, 2012

Donated to Science


Just finished watching Paul Trotman’s Donated to Science, filmed at Otago Medical School. It’s a feature-length documentary about a bunch of medical students doing their two-year dissection course using human bodies that have been specifically donated to the School for this purpose.  

There are some familiar faces in the documentary, (one or two friends, in fact) but that wasn't what made it most interesting.  It includes sequences in which a number of the students involved talk to the camera about how they feel as the two years pass, and how they grow more or less detached, depending on who they are, in terms of the fact that these were real people they're cutting up.  At the end they 'meet' the people they've been dissecting via films that were made prior to those people's deaths.  The emotional impact on the students is wonderful, and it's great to see them so full of compassion for those whose bodies they've been working with. 

The doco's not for the squeamish: there are some close-ups of body parts being dissected, and discussed, but because there's no blood, it's often not as bad as some of the more detailed close-ups in some hospital dramas on TV.  The draining of the blood makes the bodies look shrivelled, too, which at first is a bit of a surprise.  

Excellent local production!  
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