Watch movies and discuss bioethics with filmmakers and other experts. That’s the proviso of the new edition of the film cycle held every summer in Madrid’s Matadero venue, which uses the films and the conflicts of their protagonists to spark discussions on bioethics. Organized by the Francisco Vallés Institute of Clinical Ethics, in collaboration with the Dr. Antonio Esteve Foundation and the Tejerina Foundation, the Film and Bioethics series ran from 28 June to 1 July 2016 at the Cineteca in Madrid.

The new edition had a firm focus on Spanish cinema as three of the four films forming part of the cycle were produced in Spain. All of them were used as a starting point for discussions with the directors who brought these major ethical issues to the silver screen and with experts on the subject matter. Thus José Luis Garci, following the screening of his film Canción de cuna (1994), discussed with the audience the limits of privacy, while Fernando Colomo talked about health and politics after the viewing of La vida alegre (1987).

Meanwhile, director Paco Arango was the responsible for opening the series with his film Maktub (2011), which served to completely fund a bone marrow transplant centre at the Niño Jesús Hospital in Madrid. Finally, the French film Hipócrates (2014) addressed the conflicts facing resident doctors and questioned the existence of the Hippocratic Oath.


28 June (16:30 – 19:30)
Medicine and Vulnerability. The Maktub Project

– Presentation: Benjamín Herreros, Francisco Vallés Institute of Clinical Ethics
– Conference: Alberto Herreros, dramatist

Screening of the film: Maktub

Analysis and discussion:
Paco Arango, film director
Carlos Mur, physician and scriptwriter


29 June (16:30 – 19:30)
The conflicts facing resident doctors: does the Hippocratic Oath exist?

– Presentation: Benjamín Herreros
– Conference: Eduardo Pacios. Resident doctor

Screening of the film: Hipócrates

Analysis and discussion:
Enrique Vivas, doctor and RNE collaborator
María Espinosa, resident doctor


30 June (16:30 – 19:30)
The Health and Politics tandem, according to Fernando Colomo

Justice and health:
– Presentation: Benjamín Herreros- Conference:
María Jesús Pascual, Madrid Salud

Screening of the film: La vida alegre

Analysis and discussion:
Fernando Colomo, film director
Javier Sádaba, professor of Ethics at the Autonomous University of Madrid
Lucía Etxebarria, writer


1 July (16:30 – 19:30)
The limits of privacy, according to José Luis Garci

How do we take decisions?
– Presentation: Benjamín Herreros- Conference:
Carlos Mur

Screening of the film: Canción de cuna

Analysis and discussion:
José Luis Garci, film director
Luis Alberto de Cuenca, poet and essayist
Eduardo Torres-Dulce, attorney and film critic

Closure of the cycle. Film soundtracks
Contraste guitar duo