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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 2329-0358

Heart transplantation as shown in the movies

R Pudlo, J Matysiakiewicz, M Zembala

Ann Transplant 2009; 14(1): 78-78

ID: 880486

Available online:

Published: 2009-05-21

Background: Heart transplantation is a topic causing strong emotions, probably mostly outside the medical environment. Use of that topic in literature and film gives us an insight into the perception of that problem by the wide audience.
Material/Methods: The fi lm base was searched for the films related to the
problem of heart transplantation. Those of the fi lms that were available were
analyzed in respect of the knowledge of the topic and psychological correspondence with reality.
Results: Heart transplantation is not a very common topic of the movies. Search performed in the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) gave only 32 results - from art movies to D-class gore fl icks (e.g. "Dr. Blood's Coffin") and cheap tearjerkers. The paper reviews few of them. "21 grams" directed by Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu deals with various psychological problems of the heart recipient. Other reviewed movies are "Todo sobre mi Madre" by Pedro Almodovar, "John Q" by Nick Cassavetes, "Yamakasi" by Ariel Zeitoun, "Searching for David's heart" by Paul Hoen and "Blood Work" by Clint Eastwood.
Conclusions: "21 grams" directed by Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu should be recommended for all professionals involved in heart transplantations. Other films approach the subject only superficially or treat it as a pretext for exploring other issues.

Keywords: Heart Transplantation