Views & Reviews Medical classics

Wit

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39192.685532.94 (Published 26 April 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:905
  1. Philip Raby, co-tutor, “Doctors in the movies” course, Bristol University
  1. philip{at}onthevideofront.co.uk

    Few if any films deal with the process of death and dying with quite such clarity, simplicity, and eloquence as Wit, a film made for American television.

    Emma Thompson, a renaissance woman if ever there was one, adapted the original play for the screen and takes the leading role of Dr Vivian Bearing. Her title is not medical but academic: she teaches metaphysical poetry at an American university and has a reputation of being both brilliant and unforgiving to students who fall short of her high standards.

    The entire film takes place in hospital, from the moment when she is told that she has a severe form of …

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