Documentary Recommendation: The Curse of the Elephant Man (2003)

Poem used by Joseph Merrick to end his letters, adapted from “False Greatness” by Issac Watts

‘Tis true my form is something odd,

But blaming me is blaming God;
Could I create myself anew
I would not fail in pleasing you.

If I could reach from pole to pole
Or grasp the ocean with a span,
I would be measured by the soul;

The mind’s the standard of the man.

There’s not much to offer of this documentary when it comes to the people behind it. It was written by Malcolm Hall and Paul Trotman. The Curse of the Elephant Man has a running time of 49 minutes. The subject matter covers the debilitating disease Joseph Merrick had and his remaining family members. While it is still unclear what genetic mutation he had, scientists believe it was a combination of the Proteus syndrome (overgrowth of skin, bones, muscles, fatty tissues, and blood and lymphatic vessels) and neurofibromatosis (tumors growth on nervous system) that killed him at the age of 27 in 1890. It also includes currently living people with the same symptoms and appearances as Merrick. The most intriguing part is where they show what Merrick would have looked like if he wasn’t born with these mutations. If you don’t have Amazon, you can also find it online.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is merrickskeleton.jpg

I rate The Curse of the Elephant Man GREAT at 90%

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