Synopsis

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

Reviews

quote

“Highly informative, anger-arousing film.”

Read More

quote

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

Read More

quote

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

Read More

LA Times

“Carefully modulated portrait”

Read More

quote

“A fascinating journey.”

Read More

quote

“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.”

Read More

The Eagle logo

“An engaging story.”

Read More

The Hoya

“Incredibly thought-provoking.”

Read More

Shot of Prevention logo

“Bailey is no novice…She’s not easily fooled. And she’s not fooled here.”

Read More

Dallas Film Now logo

“When something goes wrong and the legal system (or human nature in general) can’t or won’t justify it, grab a camera and document it for all to experience. The Pathological Optimist follows this rule of thumb.”

Read More

Andersonvision logo

“…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.”

Read More

Awards

2017 Manhattan Film Festival
Best Feature Documentary

2017 DTLA Film Festival
Best Director for a Documentary Feature

HOW TO SEE THE PATHOLOGICAL OPTIMIST IN THEATERS

We are using a new platform called Theatrical On Demand® to expand the release of The Pathological Optimist in movie theaters across the United States this fall. This means that everyone has the chance to experience this film on the big screen. This also means that the film will come to your city only if someone signs up to host a screening and enough tickets are reserved.

Hosting a screening is FREE and EASY, we just need you to sign up to become a Movie Captain and help us spread the word

 

FOLLOW THE STEPS BELOW TO HOST OR PURCHASE TICKETS TO A SCREENING IN YOUR CITY

  1. SIGN UP TO BECOME A MOVIE CAPTAIN AND HOST YOUR OWN SCREENING OF THE PATHOLOGICAL OPTIMIST
  2. SEARCH THE SCREENING MAP (BELOW) TO PURCHASE TICKETS TO A SCREENING ALREADY SCHEDULED IN YOUR CITY.

SIGN UP TO BECOME A MOVIE CAPTAIN


1. SIGN UP TO BECOME A MOVIE CAPTAIN

Click the REQUEST A SCREENING Button and sign up to become the Movie Captain of a screening at your local movie theater.

This will take you to the Theatrical On Demand® screening request form. Filling out the form takes about five minutes and costs nothing. Once you submit the completed form you will receive a confirmation email from Gathr Films and your screening will be on its way.

REQUEST A SCREENING

REMEMBER: Theatrical On Demand® screenings only happen if a minimum number of people reserve their tickets online in advance. This means you can’t wait until the night of the showing to get your tickets.


2. PURCHASE TICKETS

Enter your location in the map to see if there are any screenings scheduled in your city. Each dot is a different screening.

Enter your location in the map to see if there are any screenings scheduled in your city. Each dot is a different screening.