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Population : Challenge and response.

  • Julian, Joseph
  • Film

About this work


Starting in Latin America; the funeral of a two month old baby takes place. Dr Vernon Madrigal from El Salvador is overwhelmed by the situation in his country. At the time the film was made, it is the most densely populated country in Latin America. A young woman in hospital is close to death due to an illegal abortion - an anonymous doctor explains her case. Sterilisation is performed on a woman and offered under local anaesthesia and funded by the Pathfinder Fund. Bill Flexner from AID, El Salvador, talks about how aid can be given to the rural poor. In the Phillippines, the situation is magnified. This is exacerbated by the mass migration from the country to the the cities. Mrs Aldaba-Lim, Secretary of Social Welfare, talks about the population crisis. Doug Larson, a volunteer from the Peace Corps, is involved in the emerging crisis. Governor San Luis talks about the family planning strategy; to appeal to people's 'selfishness' (their desires). The rhythm method is presented to a family. In Liberia, a family planning field worker meets a family. Infant mortality is high but there is not yet a population crisis. There are views in a clinic of women waiting; a woman is taught how to make a bottle feed. Mr William Hill, administrative secretary of the Liberian Family Planning Association, lectures to a group of students. India is also in the throes of a population explosion; the birth rate needs to be reduced by 40%. The approach to birth control is described as the 'cafeteria approach', making all methods available including sterilisation. A vasectomy 'camp' is seen in progress. Live enterainment is made available - prizes and inducements are offered. In Bombay, a woman has an abortion. Dr Datta Pai is in charge of the unit dedicated to family planning and sanctioned abortion. A camel is used as the mascot to represent family planning. An international meeting is seen in progress. In Tunisia, Imam Mohamed Ali Trad descrbes how family planning is not considered contrary to Islam. Dr Benisheik (her name is not captioned) practices family planning. In the hospital, post partum, women are offered family planning. Family planning is delivered to remote rural areas; there is split screen footage of women in Tunisia and Korea. Turning to Korea, its economic prgress is extolled. A birthday party is in progress. A Korean condom factory is seen with footage of women packaging the condoms. Dr R. T. Ravenholt from the Office of Population (AID) talks about the financial support his organisation has provided to a number of international organisations. A Korean baby is born with commentary reminding the viewer to consider the death of the child in the opening sequences in the light of the Korean baby who has been born into a more hopeful future.



Physical description

1 film reel (27 mins.) : sound; colour, 16 mm


More material on Population Concern is held in the Wellcome Library reference SA/POP.

Creator/production credits

The Agency for International Development. Sound; Harry Bjorkstrom, Sergio Aragones, Tecnhical Adviser for AID; Edgar Comee, Written by William Bayer. Directed by William Bayer and Dick Young. Produced, Photographed and Edited by Dick Young. A film by Dick Young Productions, Ltd.
Narrated by Joseph Julian.

Copyright note

Agency for International Development.



  • English

Where to find it

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