University Library News
Georgia State University

The Public Health Film Goes to War

The National Library of Medicine presents a collection of digitally mastered World War II-era public health films.  Film topics include malaria and yellow fever control, sanitation and hygiene and the use of DDT.  Some, starring “Private Snafu” deal with venereal disease and the physiological stress of combat.

“The war invigorated and shaped a variety of technological approaches to public health – the development of chemical pesticides to kill mosquitoes and other insect disease vectors, the expansion of electronic communication networks for public health surveillance, and the production of public health films aimed at mass audiences of military personnel and civilians.”

The GSU Library has public health films as well, but on more current topics.  See below for some titles available for check-out from the media area in Library South 2.

Killer at large.  Uncover the causes of obesity and the unprecedented rates in which it is spreading in the United States, and learn ways that might reverse the trend that is projected to affect 75% of Americans within the next ten years.

DVD RA645.O23 K55 2009


What Price Clean Air? Looks at the effects of pollution and acid rain, examining the price the American public could pay in terms of poor health and environmental damage if existing standards of clean air are relaxed.

DVD TD883.2 .W437 2009


Food, Inc. Explores the U.S. commercial food industry, examining corporate control of supply and market. Reveals various details of food ingredients and additives, and how contemporary mass production methods of food affects U.S. culture.

DVD HD9005 .F653 2009


Tapped. Examines the big business of bottled water. Viewers get a behind-the-scenes look into the unregulated and unseen world of an industry that aims to privatize and sell back the one resource that ought never to become a commodity: our water.

DVD HD9349.M543 U68 2009


The Last Cigarette.  Uses a compilation of Hollywood clips, vintage cigarette commercials, anti-smoking scare films, Congressional battle-footage, smoking esoterica and much more … It casts a satirical eye on the notably uncivilized tactics employed by both sides in today’s smoking wars.

DVD HV5760 .L37 2007


Typhoid Mary: The Most Dangerous Woman in America.  In 1906 in America it was first discovered that humans could transmit typhoid fever. This is a dramatization of the outbreak and a profile of Irish cook Mary Mallon, known as ‘Typhoid Mary’. Quarantined against her will, the story reveals the newfound power of health officials to protect the masses, often at the expense of personal liberties.

DVD RA644.T8 T97 2007

Journey to Planet Earth: The Urban Explosion.  Investigates four mega-cities–Mexico City, Istanbul, Shanghai, and New York City–and if urban populations can be maintained without destroying the environment.

DVD HT241 .J68 2009


Fat:  What No One is Telling You This documentary explains our psychological responses to food, shares new scientific knowledge about hunger, eating, and human metabolic operation. Shows how external pressures such as oversized restaurant portions and the unending barrage of food advertisements make fighting fat so difficult.

DVD RC628 .F28 2007


The Hidden Epidemic: Heart Disease in America.  Examines heart disease, the number one killer in America and one of the nation’s greatest health challenges for both men and women.

DVD RC681 .H53 2007