THE PATHOLOGICAL OPTIMIST REVIEWED
“The Pathological Optimist” is a documentary that most will reject based on the subject material. Honestly, you should avoid doing that. While much has been made of the messaging on both sides of the debate, the Anti-Vax movement is incredibly messy. For what started as a concern over the materials in vaccines and how they’re prepared has become a rallying cry for everyone from concerned parents to anti-science folks. The fact that we live in the 21st century and still deal with this…bothers the hell out of me.
What doesn’t bother me is Dr. Wakefield’s real concern over vaccine safety and the impact that his crusade has taken on his family. I know that there are several people who will continue to decry the man. However, no one puts their family through this grief without cause. They’re losing everything, while Wakefield tours the country trying to reach out to those that support him. It’s grassroots and inspirational, but the emotional connection feels so wrong.
It’s people flying blind while they try to find a reason for their kids’ maladity. While it’s fun and games for those that like to share Pro-Vax stuff on social media, no one is providing these hurting families any answers. While I believe that Wakefield is earnest, it’s just that I don’t agree with the people that keep pushing the cause. Tweak the direction and focus on general vaccine safety. If you keep believing in a general conspiracy, then people might be right to mock you.
- 1 hr and 33 mins
- Not Rated
- Gravitas Ventures
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!
- Film Score - 86%86%
The Plot Thus Far
With THE PATHOLOGICAL OPTIMIST, director Miranda Bailey brings us a character study of Dr. Andrew Wakefield, one of 13 co-authors of a notorious 1998 paper in the UK medical Journal The Lancet, but who became the very public face of what has come to be known as “The Anti-Vax Movement.” An expat from Britain who currently resides in Austin, Texas, Wakefield allowed Bailey and her team to follow him and his family for five years beginning in 2011 as he fought a defamation battle in the courts against the British Medical Journal and journalist Brian Deer. The results of that case – and the self-reflection, pronouncements, and observations of Wakefield, his legal team, wife, and his children – create a complex and incisive look at one of our era’s most fear-provoking and continuingly provocative figures. THE PATHOLOGICAL OPTIMIST takes no sides, instead letting Wakefield and the battles he fought speak for themselves.