Illness as Overused Metaphor in Hollywood

Many films about illness purport to raise awareness about the diseases they depict. But the ones that do so together with tendentious, moralistic messages and a dash of falsehood are self-defeating.

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While I have not researched the topic scientifically, the lingering death of Greta Garbo’s eponymous character at the end of George Cukor’s 1936 film “Camille” is engraved in my memory. In the movie, an...