Polio Place

A service of Post-Polio Health International



The number of movies, videos and radio clips with content related to polio in the early days is limited. Due to advances in technology, the number of multi-media sources for polio and post-polio is increasing. This section describes what is available and, in some cases, links to the content. 

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A Paralyzing Fear: The Story of Polio in America

Directed by Nina Seavey, this 1998 film depicts the story of polio's rise to epidemic proportions in 1916, and its eventual eradication through vaccines in the 1950s. The documentary examines America's haunting fear of the disease it could not contain and tells the story of America's transcendence from that fear. The film crew traveled across America interviewing polio survivors, parents, doctors, physical therapists, journalists, and everyday citizens.

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CBC Radio Canada

From the radio station's digital archives are 12 TV and radio clips (spanning the years 1938 - 1995) about the history of polio, the vaccine and current post-polio syndrome issues.

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Cheri Ford's Polio Ward

Provided courtesy of polio survivor Cheri Ford, this video offers a glimpse of the polio ward at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Pontiac, Michigan where Cheri was treated.  It is narrated by Cheri's parents.

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Diseases on the Brink: Polio

From The New York Times reporters Celia W. Dugger and Donald G. McDonald Jr. is this documentary film clip that profiles five diseases and the international efforts towards eradication--including polio.

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Dorothy Horstmann: Polio Pioneer

Yale researcher Dorothy Horstmann made seminal discoveries about the course of polio that supported the ultimate development of a vaccine. Her former mentee, George Miller reflects on Horstmann's science and life. Deputy Dean Carolyn Slayman talks about Horstmann's groundbreaking role as a woman in medicine. This video was produced by the Yale School of Medicine as part of their "Bicentennial Voices" series.  It was released in 2011.

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Elizabeth Martinez - Discapacidad O Nuevas Capacidades

A video on the life and struggle of Elizabeth Martinez of Nicaragua, who had polio as a child and uses a wheelchair. She graduated as a psychologist from the Universidad Centroamericana in Managua and works as a teacher and psychologist. She speaks of the support of her family and many friends, and her Christian faith.

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Elizabeth Martinez - Nunca Dejemos de Soñar

This short video was made by Elizabeth Martinez of Nicaragua on her own life and her struggle to study and grow as a person. She had polio as a child and used wheelchair. She graduated with a degree in psychology from the Universidad Centroamericana in Managua and works as a teacher and psychologist. 

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European Conference on Post Polio Syndrome

Filmed presentations from the European Conference on Post Polio Syndrome: Post Polio Syndrome - a challenge of today held August 31, 2011 - September 02, 2011 in Copenhagen, Denmark are available at: www.informed-scientist.org/congress/european-conference-on-post-polio-sy...

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American Experience (PBS). Narrated by David McCullough from the "Presidents Series," this film documentary entitled, "F.D.R." is a consummate and comprehensive biography of the 32nd president of the United States.

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Faces of Polio

This 12-minute DVD from the Thunder Bay & District Post-Polio Chapter of the March of Dimes (Canada) includes historic film and clips of polio survivors today, coverage of the group’s polio display at the Thunder Bay Historical Museum, and the unveiling of a memorial plaque at the Port Arthur Isolation Hospital. Contact Sandy Rutherford rutherfordsm@hotmail.com for a copy. A $10 (Cdn) donation is suggested.

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