• Cine-med-ucation and dementia: Whatever happened to representation theory?

      Capstick, Andrea; Ludwin, Katherine (2009)
      This paper is concerned with a variety of contemporary representations of dementia in both mainstream made-for-box-office cinema and in TV soap and drama. Such representations frequently draw on familiar tropes of global memory loss, violence and aggression, extreme dependency on heroic carers, catastrophic prognosis, and early death. Whilst such narrative devices may be excusable to some extent in film made for purposes of entertainment, the producers have considerable responsibility for public awareness and understandings of dementia, which, we would argue, should be discharged in a socially responsible way, rather than purely in order to achieve dramatic effect. Moreover, it has been widely argued in recent years (eg Alexander et al 2005) that film of this nature can be used ¿as it stands¿ in the education of health and social care practitioners. Instead, we would argue that students and practitioners need to learn the basic principles of representation theory, in order to understand and critique how film works to influence and socially construct views of health, illness and regimes of truth around them, paying central attention always to the question of whose interests are served by the representation in question.