Donor Unknown at Wellcome's Pop-Up Cinema

Donor Unknown is part of a special "pop-up cinema" event, organised by the Wellcome Trust on Sunday 18th September.

Just What the Doctor Ordered: The Wellcome Trust presents 75 Years of Medicine on Screen

17 – 18 September, The Old Truman Brewery

Veteran documentary filmmaker Roger Graef and invited speakers delve into the Wellcome Trust film archives to uncover 75 years of medicine on screen, while visitors are invited to receive diagnosis and cure at the pop-up 1980s ‘Therapy on Film’ Hospital Ward.

Just What the Doctor Ordered is a unique celebration of medical documentary filmmaking, highlighting the incredible content of the Trust’s extensive film archives and films the Trust has supported more recently.  Through a special programme of talks and screenings, we explore the ethical dilemmas faced by doctors and the medical profession, and the ways in which these have been portrayed on screen over the last 75 years. During the day, visitors are invited to receive a prescribed dose of ‘film therapy’ at our pop-up Hospital Ward.


‘Therapy on Film’ Hospital Ward

Saturday 17 September, 11.00 -15.30
Sunday 18 September; 11.00 -16.30

Discover the best of the Trust’s incredible film archives on our unique ‘Therapy on Film’ Hospital Ward and explore the archives yourself online at the Wellcome Trust Film YouTube Channel

Talks and screenings with Roger Graef and invited speakers

The Ethics of Medicine on Screen: Q&A and clips with Roger Graef and guests

Saturday 17 September, 15.00 – 17.00

Roger Graef is joined Stephen Cox, the Head of Communications at Great Ormond Street Hospital and Foz Allan, former producer of BBC 1 drama Casualty to explore the on-screen portrayal of ethical dilemmas faced by doctors and how these have changed over time.  Graef and guests examine excerpts from his documentary series Great Ormond Street and Casualty.

The English Surgeon (2007; Geoffrey Smith): Screening and Q&A with director Geoffrey Smith

Saturday 17 September, 17.00 – 19.00

Shot in a Ukrainian hospital full of desperate patients and makeshift equipment, The English Surgeon is an intimate portrait of brain surgeon Henry Marsh as he wrestles with the dilemmas of the doctor-patient relationship. Roger Graef and director Geoffrey Smith discuss the making of the film. 

Double bill: One of them is Brett (1965; Roger Graef) and Donor Unknown (2010; Jerry Rothwell)

Sunday 18 September, 16.30 – 18.15

Book a seat at our Sunday afternoon double bill of Roger Graef’s award winning One of them is Brett followed by a screening of the thought-provoking Donor Unknown. 

One of them is Brett

For the first time in 50 years, Roger Graef’s award winning One of them is Brett will be publicly screened. The moving documentary follows a young boy disabled by the drug Thalidomide and was groundbreaking in its treatment of the subject in its day. Made for the Society of Thalidomide Children, the film follows Brett,as he lives with birth defects caused by thalidomide, showing us that physical handicaps do not stop children being active mentally.

Donor Unknown

Donor Unknown follows the story of JoEllen Marsh, 20, as she goes in search of the sperm donor father she only knows as Donor 150. From the human genome project to IVF, this feature-length documentary explores how advances in life sciences since the millennium seem set to transform our relationship to the natural world and to each other, changing how we are conceived, born, grow up, cope with illness, and die.

The ’Therapy on Film’ Hospital Ward is free and open daily without booking. Programmed events are free but tickets can be booked by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Venue: Dray Walk Gallery, The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL

Nearest underground & train station: Liverpool Street


Donor Unknown DVD

Non theatric bookings

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