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Genomics Forum · Events

Psychiatry Ethics Film Festival. 26 - 28 November 2010

Public event   26.11.2010





Organised by

The festival is organised in partnership with ESRC Genomics Forum, Edinburgh Filmhouse, the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics (SCHB) and the Edinburgh and South-East Scotland branch of the British Science Association. And support by Lottery Funded Awards for All – Scotland.


Edinburgh Filmhouse, Lothian Road, Edinburgh

Edinburgh Filmhouse is offering a special discount - See any three (or more) films in this season and get 15% off. This offer is available online, in person and on the phone, on both full price and concession tickets. Tickets must all be bought at the same time.


Event details

The Genomics Forum is delighted to once again support the annual biomedical ethics film festival held at Edinburgh Filmhouse, 26 - 28 November 2010.

Now in its sixth year and highlighting issues surrounding psychiatry and mental illness, films include the French drama The Eighth Day (1996), Girl Interrupted (1999) starring Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie, and the challenging documentary The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive (2006) featuring Stephen Fry.

Post film debates follow each screening with expert panellists inviting audiences to consider questions around our reaction to, and treatment of, those with mental health problems.

Should individuals with certain mental health problems be placed, against their will, in psychiatric institutions? What are the causes of some of these mental disorders? Do some of the disorders run in families? In other words, is it genetic? Is surgery on the brain of a patient possible? Should it take place against their will?

We invite you to attend a screening (details below) and share your views.

Programme details:

  • Friday 26 November 2010 – 17.45The Eighth Day – Director Jaco Van Dormael - Belgium/France/UK 1996 - 118 mins- Rated PG French with English subtitles

Panel information >>

Harry (Daniel Auteuil) is a workaholic salesman whose wife has left him, taking their two daughters with her. Alone and depressed, he sits in his upscale apartment disenchanted with life. Then Harry meets Georges (Pascal Duquenne), a young man with Down's syndrome who is determined to challenge the misconceptions some people have about his condition.

Palme d'Or award nominee and Best Actor award winner 1996 Cannes Film Festival.

  • Saturday 27 November 2010 - 12.00Documentary Double BillMental: A History of the Madhouse –Director Chris Boulding - UK 2010 - 59 mins - Rated 12A

The fascinating and poignant story of the closure of Britain's mental asylums. In the post-war period, 150,000 people were hidden away in 120 of these vast Victorian institutions across the UK. Today, most mental patients, or service users as they are now called, live out in the community and the asylums have all but disappeared. Through powerful testimonies from patients, nurses and doctors, the film explores this seismic revolution and what it tells us about society's changing attitudes to mental illness.

Sectioned - Director Ben Anthony - UK 2010 - 1hr - Rated 12A

Following three people who have been sectioned on their journey through the mental health system. With unprecedented access to one of the largest mental health trusts in the UK, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, the film focuses on Andrew, Richard and Anthony as they battle to regain control of their lives, bringing into sharp focus the huge challenges faced by patients and staff alike.

Panel information >>

  • Saturday 27 November 2010 - 15.05Girl, Interrupted – Director James Mangold - Germany/USA 1999 - 127 mins - Rated 15

After Susanna (Winona Ryder), a 17-year-old high school student who wants to be a writer, downs all the pills in a bottle of aspirin with a bottle of vodka, her parents send her to a psychiatrist, who diagnoses her as having borderline personality disorder and sends her to Claymoor, a psychiatric hospital.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role Academy Award for Angelina Jolie.

Panel information >>

  • Sunday 28 November 2010 - 12 noonStephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive –Director Ross Wilson - UK 2006 - 116 mins - Rated 12A.

Stephen Fry explores the world of manic depression, a mental illness which affects up to 4 million people in the UK, including himself. He sets out to uncover more about a misunderstood condition which drives those who have it from extreme highs to crippling lows.

Panel information >>

  • Sunday 28 November 2010 - 15.15The Madness of King George – Director Nicholas Hytner – UK 1994 - 110 mins - Rated PG

The dementia of King George III (Nigel Hawthorne) – the English monarch who lost the war to keep the American colonies – sets into motion a flurry of political and familial treachery to gain power. Based on Alan Bennett's play, the film provides insight into the primitive medical practices of the time.

Academy Award for Best Art Direction. Best Actress Award for Helen Mirren and Nicholas Hytner was nominated for the Golden Palm at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival.

Panel information >>


Friday 26 November 2010 - The Eighth Day


Dr Calum MacKellar, Director of Research, Scottish Council for Human Bioethics (Chair)

Dr Douglas Wilcox, Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Medical Genetics, Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHSJane Killeen, Director of Policy, Alzheimer ScotlandDr Chris Willmott, Senior Lecturer and National Teaching Fellow Bioethics University of LeicesterDr. Vaughan Williams, Consultant Psychiatrist, London

Saturday 27 November 2010 - Mental + Sectioned (Double Bill)


Prof. Calum MacKellar, Scottish Council on Human Bioethics (Chair)

Dr Allan Beveridge, Consultant Psychiatrist, Queen Margaret Hospital Dunfermline

Graeme McGregor, Campaigns Officer, Scottish Association for Mental Health

Dr. Vaughan Williams, Consultant Psychiatrist, LondonDr Chris Willmott, Senior Lecturer and National Teaching Fellow Bioethics University of Leicester

Saturday 27 November 2010 - Girl, Interrupted


, ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum (Chair)

Dr. Vaughan Williams, Consultant Psychiatrist, LondonDr Chris Willmott, Senior Lecturer and National Teaching Fellow Bioethics University of Leicester

Sunday 28 November 2010 - Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive


Dr. Tony Weir, Edinburgh and SE Scotland Branch of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (Chair)

Dr Andrew McIntosh, Reader in Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh

Rob Waller, Consultant Psychiatrist, St John’s Livingston Hospital Dr. Vaughan Williams, Consultant Psychiatrist, London

Sunday 28 November 2010 - The Madness of King George


Dr Stephan Matthiesen, Chairman, Edinburgh and SE Scotland Branch of the British Science Association (Chair)

, Director ESRC Genomics Forum, University of Edinburgh

Further details