Who is the man behind the most highly controversial, intensely debated topics in modern medicine? In 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 continuously provocative figures. THE PATHOLOGICAL OPTIMIST takes no sides, instead letting Wakefield and the battles he fought speak for themselves.

Director’s Statement

“I gravitate towards provocative and discussion-making material for most of my films. When I began this journey in 2010, Andrew Wakefield was much less known in the United States than he is now. But those who did know him seemed to have very strong feelings either for or against him. I was curious as to who he was and how he could stand up to such rejection from his peers and such scrutiny in the media regarding his part in the MMR Scandal. As the style of my film evolved, I decided it was not my place to defend Andrew Wakefield, nor was it to condemn him. My interest lies in observance. I asked questions and observed. It is up to the audience to decide what they see. ”

– Miranda Bailey, Director



“Highly informative, anger-arousing film.”

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“Miranda Bailey’s documentary focuses on Andrew Wakefield delivering a personal profile that shies away from taking a stand on his controversial theories.”

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“Wakefield isn’t a monster, nor is he a hero. Bailey shows the result of that inability with crystal”

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LA Times

“Carefully modulated portrait”

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“A fascinating journey.”

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“To have had the chance to film a modern-day pariah is something that we do not get very often and to have it in a form like this is just irresistible.”

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2017 Manhattan Film Festival
Best Feature Documentary

2017 DTLA Film Festival
Best Director for a Documentary Feature

Upcoming Q&A’s

September 28 – 30

The Angelika Film Center

After the 7:10 pm showings with director Miranda Bailey & Dr. Andrew Wakefield

October 6 & 7

The Laemmle Monica Film Center

After the 7:20 pm showings with director Miranda Bailey & Dr. Andrew Wakefield

October 8

The Laemmle Monica Film Center

After the 2:20 pm showing with director Miranda Bailey & Dr. Andrew Wakefield

Get Tickets

Opens at The Angelika on September 29th

Opens at The Laemmle Monica on October 6th

City, State



New York, NYAngelika Film Center9/29/17
Santa Monica, CALaemmle Monica Film Center10/06/17
Kansas City, MOTivoli Cinemas10/13/17
Plano,TXAngelika Film Center Plano10/13/17
San Francisco, CA 4-Star Theater10/13/17
Santa Rosa, CASummerfield Cinemas 10/13/17
Washington D.C.Angelika Pop-Up at Union Market10/13/17
San Rafael, CAChristopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center10/16/17
Chicago,ILFacets Cinematheque10/20/17
Santa Ana, CA Regency South Coast Village 3 10/20/17
Modesto, CAState Theater10/23/17
Novi, MIEmagine Novi TheatreComing Soon
Plymouth, MNEmagine Willow Creek TheatreComing Soon
Seattle, WAVarsity TheaterComing Soon