Journal of Medical Humanities

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 183–204 | Cite as

The Cinema of Control: On Diabetic Excess and Illness in Film

  • Kevin L. FergusonEmail author


While not rare, films that represent diabetes must work around the disease’s banal invisibility, and images of diabetics in film are especially susceptible to metaphor and exaggeration. This essay is the first to outline a diabetic filmography, discussing medical and cinematic strategies for visualizing the disease as well as how the illness informs family plots and heroic characters in horror films. Doing so, it participates in a larger discussion of the manner in which film images of ill or disabled groups sustain notions of “normalcy” by both representing and denying otherness.


Diabetes Cinema Control Insulin Glucometer 



I would like to express my gratitude for the support of John B. Ferguson at Bard College, who graciously provided me with many of the historical sources cited here. I would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers of JMH who provided many useful suggestions to an earlier draft.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Queens CollegeCUNYFlushingUSA

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