Saturday, July 5, 2008

Leprosy in film context

Some friends and I started an independent and foreign film club where we get together once a month and watch a "little-known" movie that may have been overlooked and discuss them. This month, the host chose "The Motorcycle Diaries", a film that depicts the early life of Che Guevara and is based on his own written accounts. The movie shows how a simple motorcycle trip he took with a friend when he was 23-years old shaped his life and ideals and made him into the Marxist revolutionary he ultimately became. The catalyst for this change from his predetermined path of solely being a doctor was witnessing the unequality of the class system and poverty across Latin America but more profoundly, through his work at a leper colony in San Pablo where he was confronted with the segregation of the sick and the healthy. After watching the film when we were discussing it, someone asked about the causation of leprosy and exactly what it is. There was also a moment in the film where it was mentioned that leprosy can not be spread after a person undergoes treatment, which none of us had ever heard before. We did not know exactly what this treatment was nor did the script of the film give us any answers. I then became interested in learning more about this disfiguring disorder and any known therapy...

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