Heiða Jóhannsdóttir: Women, VD and Urban Practices: Metaphors of Contagion in British Educational Films
The article is concerned with non-theatrical films and the utilization of cinema by governmental and corporative establishments, focusing on VD films produced for the prevention of sexually transmitted disease in Britain in the period from WWI to 1930. An overview over their production and exhibition history, demonstrates how the VD films were caught up in concerns with the social and moral effects of cinema on the public, especially on women, and how these anxieties were negotiated in the public health discourse of the films. An analysis of the films and their articulation of the VD threat furthermore reveals how questions of gender and agency were at the centre of their discourse, where notions of increased female mobility are associated with contagiousness and moral corruption.
Keywords: non-theatrical films, educational films, VD prevention, Britain, female agency