By far the most controversial Health Tip I’ve ever written was this one, which explained my position on immunization. I support immunization for children, which clearly either angered or disappointed a whole lot of readers. Unless you’re home-schooling your kids, you don’t have much choice these days. The State of Illinois essentially stopped giving religious exemptions after a group of un-immunized children visiting Disneyland got measles.
If you’re interested in this controversial topic, you should see the very balanced and non-judgmental documentary, The Pathological Optimist, having its premiere this week (Oct. 20 through 26) at Facets, 1517 W. Fullerton, Chicago (about 200 yards from WholeHealth Chicago).
From the Facets website
Who is the man behind one of the most highly controversial, intensely debated topics in modern medicine? In the center of the recent Tribeca Film Festival scandal surrounding his film VAXXED: From Cover-up to Controversy stands Andrew Wakefield, discredited and stripped of his medical license for his infamous study suggesting a link between the MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) vaccine, bowel disease, and autism.
The Pathological Optimist takes us into the inner sanctum of Wakefield and his family from 2011–2016, as he fights for his day in court in a defamation case against the British Medical Journal. An expat from Britain who currently resides in Austin, Texas, Wakefield allowed filmmaker Miranda Bailey and her team to follow him and his family as he attempts to clear his name as the media-appointed “Father of the Anti-Vaccine” movement.
Director Miranda Bailey weaves a delicate portrait of a man who defines himself as a “pathological optimist”, creating a complex and incisive look at one of our era’s biggest medical and media controversies of our times.
“I felt as a documentary filmmaker with a specific cinematic style in mind, it was not my place to defend Andrew Wakefield, nor was it my place to condemn him. My interest lies in observance. I asked questions, and observed. It is up to the audience to decide what they see.”
Also, if you have kids hanging around, this is the week that Facets kicks off the annual Chicago Children’s International Film Festival, featuring dozens of superior-quality children’s films from all over the world.
David Edelberg, MD