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October 20–26, 2017

Chicago Premiere

The Pathological Optimist

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Film still: The Pathological Optimist

 

"Regardless of where you stand on the vaccination issue, it's possible to relish Miranda Bailey's highly informative, anger-arousing film"
  —Film Journal International
"A compelling [cinematic portrait], however you may feel about the burning issue"
  —Hollywood Reporter

Who is the man behind 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."—Miranda Bailey.

Directed by Miranda Bailey, U.S.A., 2017, 106 mins.

Showtimes

  • Fri., Oct. 20 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., Oct. 21 at 1, 3, 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., Oct. 22 at 1, 3, 5 & 7 pm
  • Tues.–Thurs., Oct. 24–26 at 7 & 9 pm
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Tickets

$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or charles@facets.org.

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation