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dc.contributor.authorAl-Gailani, Salimen
dc.date.accessioned2017-03-29T12:54:50Z
dc.date.available2017-03-29T12:54:50Z
dc.date.issued2017-09-19en
dc.identifier.issn0007-0874
dc.identifier.urihttps://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/263316
dc.description.abstractThis article recovers the importance of film, and its relations to other media, in communicating the philosophies and methods of ‘natural childbirth’ in the postwar period. It focuses on an educational film made in South Africa around 1950 by controversial British physician Grantly Dick-Read, who had achieved international fame with bestselling books arguing that relaxation and education, not drugs, were the keys to freeing women from pain in childbirth. But he soon came to regard the ‘vivid’ medium of film a more effective means of disseminating the ‘truth of [his] mission’ to audiences who may never read his books. I reconstruct the history of a film that played a vital role in teaching Dick-Read’s method to both the medical profession and the first generation of Western women to express their dissatisfaction with highly-drugged, hospitalized maternity care. The article explains why advocates of natural childbirth such as Dick-Read became convinced of the value of film as a tool for recruiting supporters and discrediting rivals. Along the way, it offers insight into the British medical film industry and the challenges associated with producing, distributing and screening a depiction of birth considered unusually graphic for the time.
dc.description.sponsorshipThis research was supported by the Wellcome Trust through a strategic award in the history of medicine on the theme ‘Generation to Reproduction’ [088708].
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherCambridge University Press
dc.title‘Drawing aside the curtain’: natural childbirth on screen in 1950s Britainen
dc.typeArticle
prism.endingPage493
prism.issueIdentifier3en
prism.publicationDate2017en
prism.publicationNameBritish Journal for the History of Scienceen
prism.startingPage473
prism.volume50en
dc.identifier.doi10.17863/CAM.8653
dcterms.dateAccepted2017-01-12en
rioxxterms.versionofrecord10.1017/S0007087417000607en
rioxxterms.versionAMen
rioxxterms.licenseref.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/en
rioxxterms.licenseref.startdate2017-09-19en
dc.identifier.eissn1474-001X
rioxxterms.typeJournal Article/Reviewen
cam.issuedOnline2017-09-19en
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