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DATE: 1943

LENGTH: 10 min.

CATEGORY: Educational & Instructional, Sound, Black & White

DIRECTORS: Willard Van Dyke and Ben Maddow

PRODUCER/PUBLISHER: Documentary Film Productions


Willard Van Dyke and Ben Maddow, acclaimed documentary filmmakers, shot this film on location in the Colombian jungle and highlands. In the genre of Robert Flaherty-style ethnographic documentary (an idiosyncratic choice for a public health film), The Silent War focuses on the heroic measures taken by the U.S. and Colombian governments to eradicate yellow fever.

Supplementary Materials

Stills from The Silent War: Colombia’s Fight Against Yellow Fever

Other Films Featured in the Essay

Explore thirteen films considered in the “Public Health Films Go to War” essay.

In the Collections of the National Library of Medicine

Prints & Photographs Collection

These posters, produced by or for the U.S. military in conjunction with campaigns that also employed films, come from the Prints and Photographs collection of the National Library. Explore these and more from the NLM’s Images in the History of Medicine.

Posted by:Carrissa Lindmark

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