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Looking Back: Schweitzer Film at Edinburgh Festival

Looking Back: Schweitzer Film at Edinburgh Festival

Friday September 15 2017

Looking back to September 1957 and the premiere of a film at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

DR ALBERT Schweitzer, the world-famous medical missionary, has at last agreed to allow the public showing of a film made of his career and work. At first he agreed to the film being made only on the understanding that it would not be shown until after his death, but not he has been persuaded to allow it being shown in public.

Recognised as one of the most important films submitted for presentation at this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival, it was presented at a special gala performance on Sunday, 1st September.

The film covers Dr Schweitzer's whole life, beginning with his childhood and adolesence in Alsace, where he was born in 1875, son of a Lutheran pastor. It shows dramatically his decision when he was 30 to study medicine so that he could become a medical missionary, and then moves on to the famous hospital at Lambarene - one degree south of the Euqator in French Equatorial Africa - where we see him ministering to the natives of the Gabon and supervising the day-to-day routine of his hospital.

Dr Schweitzer himself wrote the narrative for the film and this is beautifully spoken by Frederic March. An additional commentary written by Thomas Bruce Morgan is spoken by Burgess Meredith.