The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Diabetes in Movies
While testing blood sugar, having lows, and shooting insulin might be daily life for you, it’s an action-escalating, drama-creating plot device for the writers and directors of Hollywood. You’ve probably caught at least one TV episode or movie scene about diabetes that got your eyes rolling, but you’ll be happy to know it isn’t all bad (okay, a lot of it is really bad though). You probably won’t be directing anyone to Netflix if diabetes education is your goal, but it’s still helpful to know what kind of info people are getting about your condition from their screens.
Nothing seems to capture the true day-to-day struggle with diabetes, but some of the scripted portrayals at least hit some of the major points.
The Godfather III (1972) might not be the best installment in the trilogy, but Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) does offer a pretty convincing portrayal of what living with diabetes is like. As the mobster weakens in his old age, he is diagnosed with diabetes and offers realistic symptoms like weakened eyesight and a moment where he has a low, has to sit down for a minute, and requests some orange juice or candy. Maybe you haven’t ever been a part of a crime family, but yeah, you’ve probably had to ask someone to bring you some juice before. He even explains at one point that stress affects his numbers. Maybe once Corleone left his life of crime he should have become a diabetes advocate? The portrayal is probably decently realistic because the late Godfather trilogy screenwriter, Mario Puzo, had diabetes.
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