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‘Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe’ is Designed to Trick You (Review)

'Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe' is Designed to Trick You (Review)

There’s a lot of sad piano music and distressed parents in “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe,” but next to nothing in terms of real science. Directed by Andrew Wakefield, the British former gastroenterologist responsible for the debunked theory linking vaccines with autism, “Vaxxed” amounts to a summary of his brash movement’s unfounded arguments. Inexplicably added to the Tribeca Film Festival lineup before getting dropped due to backlash, the movie would have fit better in a sidebar showcasing tone-deaf agitprop alongside the likes of Dinesh D’Souza’s gloomy “2016: Obama’s America” and Stephen K. Bannon’s hagiographic Sarah Palin clip show “The Undefeated.” But Wakefield’s self-aggrandizing approach walks a more troubling ethical line, pushing an outrageous agenda only evident to viewers willing to look beneath its paranoid surface. 
Wakefield doesn’t just have a dog in this fight; he is the dog. In 1998, the erstwhile researcher published a paper targeting the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella) that positioned statistical connections between vaccinated children and autism cases. Scrutinized by the international medical community, his findings were so vehemently rejected that he was stripped of his medical license, but the damage was done. With vaccinations already shunned by religious communities and parents distrustful of medical practices they don’t understand, Wakefield’s claims provided just the right volume of fear-mongering to kickstart a movement. 
Shifting between media reports and a handful of anti-vaccine activists — including, naturally, a straight-faced Wakefield himself — “Vaxxed” makes epic conspiratorial claims, with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) emerging as its greatest target. Proclaiming that the organization has buried connections between autism and vaccines, “Vaxxed” presents a series of secretly recorded phone calls as its main coup. These conversations, between environmental researcher Brian Hooker and CDC “whistleblower” William Thompson, were previously summarized in a short video that Wakefield circulated last year. Since then, they have led to a book-length set of allegations and countless speculation about how much information the calls actually reveal. In the snippets shown throughout the movie, they hint at some modicum of disorganization to the CDC’s research, but hardly validate the outlandish claims at the root of Wakefield’s studies, which have themselves been suspected of biased reporting tactics. Needless to say, he’s not the most credible person to helm a supportive overview. 
Nevertheless, “Vaxxed” works overtime to mimic the look of a credible research project, with charts and graphs tossed around to lend an air of authenticity. But no amount of data sets — nor the numerous tearful parents recalling their healthy children transforming into autism cases — can change the utter lack of substance within these claims. Wakefield sounds the alarm about a rise in autism coinciding with vaccinations as if the two were intrinsically linked; at no point does anyone address the possibility that these are discrete phenomena. Any high school math student will tell you that correlation is not causation, but Wakefield’s team didn’t get the memo. 
The most egregious argument of the anti-vaccination movement, reiterated with utter seriousness in “Vaxxed,” finds Wakefield playing the race card. In a segment of the film titled “The African American Effect,” Wakefield emphasizes research claiming that black children are particularly susceptible to developing autism after receiving the vaccine, with the assumption being they were somehow genetically predisposed to the trigger rather than the disease itself. 
This allegation marks the one time that a detail from the recorded Thompson call sounds fairly accurate: When Hooker asserts that “race is downplayed” in the CDC findings, Thompson replies, “Of course.” Set to an ominous score and the jittery graphic of an audio file, these conversations carry the aura of devious intentions. But in moments like these, Thompson just sounds like he’s rolling his eyes at absurd insinuations.  
Any viewer of “Vaxxed” willing to look at its individual components should be doing the same. Wakefield’s by-the-numbers approach to didactic storytelling relies on tons of random factoids positioned out of context to drive home his agenda. An end credit declares that “every seven minutes, a child in the U.S. is diagnosed with autism,” the kind of tenuous data set that passes for hard evidence in Wakefield’s bizarro universe. 
In a statement leading up to the film’s release, Wakefield’s co-writer Del Bigtree claimed that “Vaxxed” is “not an anti-vaccine movie,” which is kind of like saying “Triumph of the Will” is anti-Hitler. Strung together in obvious ways to induce a constant sense of dread (look out for the slo-mo shot of a crying child!), “Vaxxed” shamelessly repeats the same non-arguments over and over again, drowning facts in murky proclamations. 
Bigtree, a television journalist who became a primary Wakefield defender, surfaces in the movie to proclaim that the doctor has been censored by larger forces. (He also attended the first public screening of “Vaxxed” in New York, where he was surrounded by skeptics and fans alike afterward, clearly pleased with the attention.) 
But “Vaxxed” never tries to demystify its wildest insinuations. While the pharmaceutical industry is nobody’s idea of a perfect system, the idea of a grand conspiracy to make a dime off MMR vaccines while creating widespread autism sounds like much ado about nothing. There’s a lot of Shakespearean hubris at the root of “Vaxxed,” a tale of sound and fury signifying nothing but its own homegrown idiocy.  

Grade: D

“Vaxxed” is currently playing at New York’s Angelika Film Center with an expansion to other cities planned.

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Comments

howard

correlation may not always be causation, but the canary rarely died of natural causes when flying into a coal mine. speaking as someone that had an adverse reaction to a vaccine (which has been clinically proven to trigger MS and other autoimmune disorders), I feel that the perception is that ALL vaccines are safe and effective ALL of the time. People are looking for objectivity on both sides. The PRO-Vaxxers hold all the cards as they have the media, pharmaceutical companies and medical communities in their hip pocket. if vaccines are not causing this epidemic in autism..what is?? Why is it being ignored by the establishment. if your kid is normal one day and severely handicapped the day after a vaccine what would you think?? unless your life is touched by an adverse reaction, you have no idea what you are talking about but only parroting the party line or talking points of the establishment that has so much to loose in this fight.

David Taylor

I cannot comment on the film till I see it. However it is recorded fact that William Thomson did say what the trailer says. As for rubbishing Andrew Wakefield then so far as I understand it the film is not about him. However Our BMA (UK) did give first prise to a book called Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime in the 2014 book awards so to suggest anything coming out of pharma or their supporters can be relied upon is more than a little suspect

Veritas

I look forward to the time when people revolt, maybe even soon, and they go looking back for all those propagandists who wrote articles deliberately against their interests.
Say, what do you think that angry mob is going to do to all these lying, parasitic journalists like yourself?

Sama Homøopati

You do not need any kind of ´study´(approved or not) to confirm what vaccines is all about; just sense and sensebility.

YOU ARE DISGUSTING

literally, this article is one sided propaganda. you did not write this as a review of the movie but as an outlet for your own outlandish beliefs. this does not review the movie at all. so full of lies and extremely biased there is no way you watched that movie and it’s sad really because you should be encouraging others to form their own opinion of the move, regardless of yours.

Esther Hartcastle

I have been feeling like Cassandra of Troy, doomed to foresee the demolishing of her nation, and no one would listen. When my boy developed autism following the MMR, I did my thorough research and discovered the horrible, unconsciounable truth, that the CDC doesn’t care a pin about my son’s future, that his health is devastated and his brain damaged. For years after I would hover around moms with babies in the park, or pregnant women, wondering, how can I tell them? Dreading, they won’t hear me. The prevailing ideology is too dominant. My therapist with two teenagers of her own, after initially saying that couldn’t be, bless her heart, began to do her own research, and finally a few months later said to me: "I had no idea that when I brought my children in for their vaccines, that I was playing Russian roulette with their futures." It is the most nefarious of crimes perpetrated against the very foundation of our culture, mothers and their unborn, newborn children. And I suppose the very horror of that makes people unwilling to believe it could be going on. But it is . . .

Vaxxed does an incredible job of penetrating to the core issue, fraud at the CDC, the agency that we task with protecting our health, and the incredible human cost that this fraud has perpetrated. Their "studies" "proving" no relationship between autism and vaccines enabled Health and Human Services to win against the 5000 plaintiffs who claimed that their children’s autism was caused by vaccines. I was one of those 5000. I am a single mom of child with autism, now in his teens. We live in a studio apartment because I can’t afford better housing and the school I need my son to attend.

Might we one day see justice? Might the information finally get out? I don’t know. I read the same bought off misinformation about the documentary. I know that Big Pharma controls pretty much everything we see, read, and hear. I tell my friends to please see the film; I tell them that this explains what happened to my child, but most don’t seem that interested, or refer to it as an "interesting debate" a "controversial" situation. Again I feel like Cassandra.

The Congressional inquiry into the CDC fraud is in committee, and has been for months now. Will our Justice System work as it is supposed to do? Or is it bought and paid for too?

Please go to the film. Do your own research, trying to find independent sources. Try to not be dictated to by the overwhelmingly powerful and well funded vaccine industry. I really feel like the future of our nation is at stake, as well as the world community.

From the documentary: Stephanie Stenoff, Ph.D. Senior Research Scientist, MIT
“If we assume things are going to continue as they have been, we can predict that by 2032, 80% of the boys, half of the children, will end up on the autism spectrum. This is going to be a complete catastrophe if we just let it happen.”

Terry

Let’s be honest the CDC and big pharma’s stand is one sided propaganda also. Yet i’ve not heard a single balanced offering of their single minded zombie like adherence to hugely questionable data, FDA corruption, profit before ethics of big pharma or anything here except pro vaccine boo on opposing view nonesense :P I’m not totally against vaccines some do work and some of the diseases they prevent are deadly and contagious on a mass scale so as to almost make the risks they pose worth it. But I submit the last 5 flu seasons have been a disastrous failure. I’ve had at least tw or three different versions of the flus ecery season for 5 seasons after receiving the current shot. no the shot didn’t give me the flu but it didn’t prevent me from getting the flu including one two version supposedly covered in the shot that season. May I suggest when you call something propanganda you ntot be guilty of offering up similar one sided arguments… you lose credibility. Oh and to my knowledge does have any immunologist, M.D.’s or epidemiologists on staff do you? SMH Both sides of this issue are so terribly intolerant and polarized it’s impossible to get an honest cooperative discussion ging to fix what’s wrong and address legitimate concerns about a healthcare industry thatt is often willing to toss it’s ethics for profit and control. just sayin….

Eddy Q

I’m truly frightened by some of the anti-vaxxer comments here defending the film and labelling Eric Kohn’s review propoganda(?!). The widespread denial of basic, proven scientific fact is astounding. FYI, I am autistic, and I can’t help wondering why, even if we were in an alternate universe where the link were proven to be true, why so many parents would prefer a seriously ill or dead child to an autistic one. The insulting rhetoric involved in this scaremongering is almost as dangerous as the pseudoscience.

By the way Eric, at the bottom of the 5th paragraph you erroneously refer to autism as a disease, when it is in fact a developmental disability. Yet another pervasive misconception about autism which needs to be constantly challenged.

Beline

rotten tomatoes is scoring it high… the people have spoken. the screenings are packing because it is relevant. You pods are writing it off because you are probably having your palms greased by some pharma wizard scumbag… this film hopes to change everything and it will. Vaccinations are not the issue… a shoddy irresponsible science with false reporting called on by a CDC whistleblower… all on the backs of innocent families…and children! That is the issue. But spend your bribe quickly at the arcade sonny.. cause you’re gonna hate hanging on to it.. it’ll burn your a hole in your hilfigers pantaloons.

Tim Murphy

Dear Joel,
So, now you are some kind of self appointed medical expert, as well as a movie critic? It is quite apparent from the tone of your critique that you have bought Big Pharma’s propaganda hook, line, and sinker! In fact, and as clearly stated above, the landmark "DeStefano" study that was widely touted to "prove" that there was no vaccine autism link has now been completely debunked…one of the principal co authors (Dr. William Thopmson M.D.) has admitted that the study conclusions were faked in order to support the position of the CDC, and to push the business interests of their friends in the vaccine industry. As has also been pointed out, fraud and corruption in the CDC and the vaccine industry are rife, and have been extremely well documented. The most recent sell out of the American people occurred in 2014, when Dr.Julie Gerberding M.D. quit her job as the head of the CDC, and went to work as head of Merck’s vaccine division! Merck has an extremely long and troubled history as a drug maker; they have committed fraud and paid out billions of dollars of fines on multiple occasions, and they are now facing extremely serious fraud charges over the aforementioned MMR vaccine! Gerbrding’s sellout was simply the latest in the revolving door between "Big Pharma" and our governmental regulatory bodies…and the conflict of interest crisis just keeps rolling along…Anyone that has made a serious study of this issue has to have serious reservations about the safety of vaccinations as currently configured, to say the least! I must mention my background: I have worked in the medical field for 27 years, including 15 years in local hospitals, and 8 years in various out patients clinics; I was a "true believer" when it came to western medicine, medications, and especially vaccines. I never in my wildest dreams would have believed that so much corruption and fraud were occurring in the name of "science"! Frankly, your review is quite simply one of the most pathetic and lame articles that I have ever had the misfortune to read! There are so many lies, errors, and downright bull**** statements in your dreary regurgitation of "Big Pharma’s" propaganda, that I am inclined to believe that you are a paid employee of the Pharmaceutical Industry itself! Normally, I would simply ignore the insane rantings of an obviously completely ignorant individual such as yourself, but your article was so insulting to anyone who has had to work with these damaged children, I simply HAD to respond. As an individual who has treated these profoundly damaged children, and witnessed first hand the pain inflicted on them and their families, I would suggest that you seek out the victims of these absolutely horrendous crimes, and see for yourself what it means to experience this holocaust…Gather the facts, talk to the family’s involved, make a thorough study of ALL the data, not just the (totally corrupt) industry’s propaganda, and then you may better able to make a more informed, SCIENCE BASED decision regarding this matter. Finally, I truly wish upon you exactly that which you INSIST that "Big Pharma" has not inflicted upon it’s many innocent victims-may you yourself suffer the torment of this horrendous and senseless malady…and then we’ll see what you say then…

jen

Pathetic review, recycled pro-vaxx garbage, bla, bla, bla, "it isn’t science", can’t be true, just a bunch of graphs, ohhhhhh poor sad parents, what a sham of a writer you are!! You should be ashamed of yourself. I would love to see you read your review on a stage in front of an audience of parents who have vaccine damaged children and have just viewed the film. Right!! go hide behind your computer.

Harrie van Voare Tjeu

This review is simply based on disbelief. Not on facts. If in your opinion the movie is not based on facts then at lease refer to facts and to sources. Like some commentators did!
Why was the respons to the article in 1998 so negative? Why was the article not enough reason to conduct proper research?
Because our health, the health of our children deserve the best treatment possible.
It’s a shame what this health "science" has done instead.
"Don’t kill the messenger".

James Lyons-Weiler, PhD

I have analyzed data from all types of biomedical studies for 20 years. CDC’s omission of results showing association was intentional, not a result of "disorganization". Thompson told Hooker that the manipulation of data was systematic and pervasive. In one study, an initial association was found – and he went to his supervisor who told him to not present it. He took the issue to Julie Gerberding, who saw it fit to suspend him for going over his supervisor’s head. In another study, initial positive association results had to wait four years before publication until someone (Coleen Boyle) could figure out how they could the the association go away. There is hard evidence, such as emails showing Thompson threatening to pull his name from a paper, and an email entitled "It Just Won’t Go Away" – with text from the author begging CDC to not consider him anti-vax (an outdated term, should be "vaccine risk aware") – and begging CDC to publish the result in the name of "objective science". There has never, ever been so much evidence of clear scientific misconduct and the individuals’ papers not been pulled for further review. Anyone NIH-funded that pulled these stunts would be fined and put into jail for defrauding the US gov’t of funds. This movie is only the beginning of the conversation. There is much more to come.

Carole M Di Tosti

If the film was as harmless and "unscientific" as those who own the vaccine and/or those who use the vaccine claim it is, then there should be no problem. The problem remains that there is enough in the film to raise suspicion that there is a possible correlation. Indeed, if one child got autism as a result of the vaccine, then it should be pulled. There is ethnographic evidence from parents. That actually carries more weight than statistical studies which can be skewed. I know…I am a researcher and if you can triangulate testimony from witnesses, then at the very least, an independent research panel that is not receiving funds from Big Pharma or any research facility that takes funds from Big Pharma…should oversee and conduct such a study. We are talking the risk to one child… The terrible thing is there are many parents who have identified the same happening. Coupled with the whistleblowers testimony? At the very least, there should be more studies…and indeed, give one vaccine for each of the diseases until the research proves CONCLUSIVELY THAT THE MMR DOES IN NO WAY CORRELATE WITH EVEN 1 CHILD GETTING AUTISM. Otherwise, it is the same type of situation as occurred with smoking causing cancer…it was known, but the companies hid the research until a whistleblower finally came forward. And even then he was vilified, defamed, excoriated and made to look like a wacko…why? To discredit him because he spoke the truth. The same thing happens when whistleblowers come forward. They are the canaries in the coal mine. And in a court of law before a jury…in a civil action…the vaccine companies ARE TOAST.

Steph

The most important film of our time. A must see.

Mishka

No, no, no. I saw the film because I was curious and was totally surprised by my reaction. I left thinking that our regulatory agencies aren’t doing a good enough job with testing vaccines according to the standards that other drugs are held to. I didn’t know that! We’re all taking a ghastly chance with our kids’ health. And instead of saying not to vaccinate, they simply say to demand better testing and single-dose vaccines. I am glad there are actions I can take to make vaccines safer!

I’m writing to all my state representatives to ask them to look at this problem.

rchaput

the very people who have ‘discredited’ Wakefield are the exact people he’s pointing the finger at. doesn’t this raise any suspicion? this is classic whistleblower territory. people who shine the light on terrible corruption ALWAYS are smeared and denigrated. you must know this, so why accept this smear of Wakefield so blithely? don’t you think the health of our children is a topic important enough to be worthy of some investigation? the CDC is possibly the most corrupt institution in this country and this is very widely known by those who are paying attention. the coverup going on here is huge and evil and the perpetrators will fight very hard before going down.

Mary

I am saddened by this review because "bought" is written all over it. Vaccine injuries are REAL, the curroption at the CDC is REAL… do you have any children? After watching this and also the MD Sears and Ross reactions to the findings, would you vaccinate your child?? Would you trust their findings?

Jeff

Instead of a review of all your preconceived ideas that you’ve gotten from all the other misinformed media over the years how about a fresh perspective and doing your job. Dr. Wakefield’s case series published in the Lancet was not about MMR and autism but instead about autistic children who had bowel disease. There were many other authors of that paper but Andrew Wakefield was made an example of what happens when you dare to speak out and even suggest, as he did at the time, for more research. I’ve read over forty scientific research papers over the last year all showing the biochemical pathways that are effected by vaccination and how the inhibition of these pathways could cause autism in a subset of the population. What has this reviewer ever read? I’ve listened to lectures of scientists around the world that agree with Andrew Wakefield. A scientist form the CDC comes forward and says, "I lied" is passed on as conspiracy. No, it really happened. This is less of a film review and more of a regurgitation of one more uninformed fool parading as someone who thinks he understands the science.

Stephen Ericson

Well for a review that’s for the most part almost completely utterly wrong, I’ll give Eric credit for at least having the stones to mention the name of Dr. Thompson. However that’s where my praise for this review comes to an abrupt halt.
"But in moments like these, Thompson just sounds like he’s rolling his eyes at absurd insinuations. "

You do realize that Dr. Thompson wants to be subpoenaed by congress and that he’s the one that is pointing out that he’s part of the cover up? Eric, did you not hear him saying that signing off on that report was a low point in his career? Was that lost on you? Lol, you’re a little dim bud.

"While the pharmaceutical industry is nobody’s idea of a perfect system, the idea of a grand conspiracy to make a dime off MMR vaccines while creating widespread autism sounds like much ado about nothing."

Really, you’d describe the vaccine courts having to pay out perhaps a trillion dollars in claims nothing? That’s laughable even for a complete hack.
The movie is full of rock solid evidence, that most reviewers don’t have attention span to properly assess let alone debate.

For example, so far I’ve seen zero reviewers who dare to mention the twins, one who received the MMR vaccines, and the other who didn’t. Needless to say that the one who didn’t can speak multiple languages and is a classical pianist, and the one who did receive the vaccines is severely disabled. I understand for someone who’s afraid of the ‘ANTI VAXERS’ , that they’d want to avoid such a blatant example.

One last point, the movie isn’t anti vaccine. Only a moron wouldn’t get that Eric, so please, come on, try a little harder than that. Wakefield advocates splitting up the MMR single shot into 3 separate shots. They go out of their way to make that point very clear. He doesn’t come out against any other vaccines, and he only suggests that one revision, and some very tepid regulations in the testing of vaccines.

Eric, you’re a 2 bit hack. But why? Who are you a hack for? I can understand that you don’t really agree with the film, that’s fine, but you’re just slandering it for the sake of slandering it. It’s grade Z propaganda, and it’s pathetic.

Mr D B

As re: "how did this ever get programmed"? De Niro, of late – although not in the cacophony of this debate – actually has a teenage sone diagnosed with autism: he ought to hang his head-in-shame, as re: his support of the Tribeca and this culpably bastardized pseudo-documentary. It would another thing if he actually had been directly involved/produced the beyond criticized material: we have retardo Jenny Mccarthy et al for that ("I cured my son…")
With the CDC measured rise in Whoopin-cough and Measles in US communities, all these so-called ‘stars’ need to stand surely and ‘honorably’ in front of whatever cause/festival project.
Disreputable.

Harvey Karten

Eric – You appear to have given the documentary a "D" based on your belief that Wakefield is a scammer. What about judging the formal aspects of the doc? Is the film itself that deficient in editing, performances, music and production values? One might be appalled at Leni Riefenstahl’s "Triumph of the Will," yet praise her talent as a filmmaker.

Katarina

Why do you suppose we now have epidemics of Autism Syndrome brain disorders and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity brain disorders. The commonality is childhood vaccines. Why are these epidemics not being addressed by governments, medical professionals, or Vaccine producers? In Canada we can barely handle the explosion of "special needs kids" since the 1980’s when vaccine doses were tripled for infants and children. There is a stench about this disaster and we know where it is coming from.

Carole Harrington

Your review is as biased as you claim "Vaxxed is "didactic." Vaccines can kill, damage and do. Why else would the U.S. government’s have a National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program – HRSA Vaccine Compensation Fund that has awarded damages to parents of children with autism. There are numerous lawsuits, some of which have been settled quietly. The National Vaccine Information Center has more details.

I have seen too many children who have been healthy before receiving a shot and who immediately following became ill and autistic. When I was a child, we received three shots before entering school; children now must have more than 30. Isn’t it possible that overload is causing issues?

As a journalist myself, I find your review sorely lacking in objectivity, but then you’re a critic and yours is all opinion, too, I hope others who read your review also will read the facts in the comments above and will take time to do some research before accepting your opinion

Carole Harrington

our review is as biased as you claim "Vaxxed is "didactic." Vaccines can kill, damage and do. Why else would the U.S. government’s have a National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program – HRSA Vaccine Compensation Fund that has awarded damages to parents of children with autism. There are numerous lawsuits, some of which have been settled quietly. The National Vaccine Information Center has more details.

I have seen too many children who have been healthy before receiving a shot and who immediately following became ill and autistic. When I was a child, we received three shots before entering school; children now must have more than 30. Isn’t it possible that overload is causing issues?

As a journalist myself, I find your review sorely lacking in objectivity, but then you’re a critic and yours is all opinion, too, I hope others who read your review also will read the facts in the comments above and will take time to do some research before accepting your opinion

MB

Obviously the author of this review did not make any research on vaccines industry. "One sided propaganda" is exactly what they and media have to offer it this case.

Mel Gibson

The vaccines are eugenics by any other name. Putin (aka the devil in the west) has just proved their is a master plan to enslave most everyone through vaccination by making us literally retarded. This is a group of psychotics that our writer mr Kohn loves.

Stacy Herlihy

Wakefield was paid about $700k to assist lawyers looking trying to endanger public health by fear mongering against important public health measures. There’s your unscrupulous payment.

    G.Skanderup

    Please Çorroborate Wild Accusation.

Tony

INDIE WIRE…….LOL VERY WEAK CORPORATE PROPAGANDA.

Tony

A LOT OF PAID SHILLS comments. The dying media makes a good chunk of their profits from one of the few income sources being pharmaceutical drug commercials. The problem vaccine propaganda is weak and many of you shills are transparent. I would fire all of you. Then again I’m happy you have weak propaganda.

Wayne

And the Big Pharma/CDC story
is totally unbiased huh?

Barbara Sumner

if this is one sided, then it’s about time we heard this side, given the wall-to-wall pharma media coverage. I’ve personally investigated pharma corruption that extended into government and been the brunt of pharma power to shut down that research. If you want the "other" side just open any mainstream newspaper any day of the week.

Philippe Diaz

Dear Eric Kohn, your review is a slap on the face of families who have been struggling with autistic children and who studied this issue all their lives. I guess you feel you know better than them what causes autism. Let’s assume for the sake of discussion that Wakefield and the hundreds of doctors and scientists who support him are right? And let’s assume that the irresponsible actions by people like you and many others linked to the pharmaceutical industries succeed in delaying a true study–which no matter what you claim was never done, as confirmed by the director of the CDC under pressure by Congress–and that many thousands of children continue to be harmed… what would you feel? This is not a review, this is a piece of propaganda going for the kill, without any concerns for the families and the children affected by autism. Mr. Kohn, in matters affecting people’s health, all points of view should be heard and studied. But I guess you do not believe in such freedom of information and thorough investigations. You prefer to throw an inflammatory statement, regardless of the consequences. Shame on you! Next time I see one of your review, I’ll pass and stop reading Indiewire. I hope many people do like me. Maybe that will bring a dose of responsibility on your desk. Philippe Diaz – Vaxxed distributor

Helena

l cannot wait to see this much needed film. Does anyone know where l can see it in Australia or is it online somewhere?
Why on earth anyone would believe anything that the CDC or Mainstream Media say with their proven record is just Moronic. Simple Commonsence and not Fear is what it comes down to. Children are born healthy, why interfere with that? l am not going to listen to Corporations whose main priority is Profits and who do not care one bit about my Children. People are waking up to the Truth and Yay to more of the Truth being exposed.

Stacy Herlihy

Protest Wakefield.

Donate money to Shot@Life — they give vaccines to poor kids in third world nations.

Michael

It appears no one really knows what happened in the Wakefield study. No one reviewing this film or parroting the allegations leveled at Andrew Wakefield seems to have bothered researching what actually happened to him. Just like the BS that started it all concocted by Brian Deer, it’s all bad journalism.

Stacy Herlihy

The only thing that packaging the MMR into three separate vaccines does is to a) force kids to get more shots, b) inject more of those chemicals Wakefield wants you to be afraid of and b) increase costs.

He should be tried for crimes against humanity.

Stacy Herlihy

Wakefield continued the stupidity with his conversation afterwards. He made allegations that are not even remotely grounded in fact. For example, he argues that we should package the MMR into three distinct vaccines.

No

Boy, reading these reviews are textbook examples of Hofstadter’s The Paranoid Style in American Politics: "the central preconception of the paranoid–the existence of a vast, insidious, preternaturally effective international conspiratorial network designed to perpetuate acts of the most fiendish character."

John Kwok

Superb review of what I regard as a "sterling" example of cinematic mendacious intellectual pornography. It is as much a "documentary" as the equally abysmal and pathetic Ben Stein-narrated "EXPELLED: NO INTELLIGENCE ALLOWED" which contends that Intelligent Design creationist Ph. D. "scientists" have been subjected to a vicious "Darwinist witch hunt" by genuine, quite credible, scientists within the mainstream scientific community. "EXPELLED" was in theaters for a very, very short time after it was released and here’s hoping that "VAXXED" shares the same fate.

Oh Boy

Indiewire and the sackless Eric Kohn complaining about "one sided propaganda." Is it still April Fools Day?

Bonnie

Sir, you obviously on a witchunt for Dr Wakefield. Did you even see the film? It’s very hard to debunk the numbers and the fact that the head of the CDC is now the Head of a Merck division. How can you deny this conflict of interest. Or how can you deny the Pro Vaccine Trolls harassing people trying to get information. This film was not about Wakefield, it was about the lack of consequences for the CDC and the Pharma machine and how their greed damaged a generation of kids.

Caldude

You don’t have to be very bright to see the obvious correlation between exploding autism rates as well as other numerous new health problems and the psychotic push for more and more vaccines. My son has never been vaccinated and he almost never gets sick…if he does, he bounces back speedily. vaccines.news is one of the best sites I’ve found documenting the travest that is pharmaceutical vaccines.

brandur

Any one who sets out to research and suggest further research on vaccines will of course be demonised by the pharmaceutical companies and their minions, it does not mean that any research findings have been "debunked" and that the findings are not correct.

Twyla

The 1998 paper coauthored by Dr. Andrew Wakefield, along with a dozen other doctors and scientists, did not "position statistical connections between vaccinated children and autism cases". The paper was an in depth description of 12 children. It was too small a group to do statistical analysis. The paper accurately reported that parents of 8 out of the 12 children said that their children’s cognitive and gastrointestinal issues started right after receiving the MMR vaccine, and the paper called for further research. Truthful and reasonable.

Twyla

What a stupid, biased article. You should try stepping out of your arrogance for long enough to actually perceive the world around you and do some careful reading. Sometimes vaccines do cause autism. There’s no doubt about that.

The same people who keep chanting, "Don’t confuse correlation with causation!" also keep insisting that studies showing a lack of correlation disprove causation. For one thing, senior level CDC scientist Dr. William Thompson says that the CDC has been intentionally avoiding research that might show a link, and manipulating data, and throwing out data that didn’t fit their agenda. Another key researcher, Dr. Poul Thorsen, coauthor of some of the other main papers said to disprove a link, is wanted for embezzling over a million dollars of grant money, and for wire fraud. While working at Aarhus University in Denmark doing CDC funded studies, he also held a full time position at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, which has close ties with the CDC. He failed to inform Aarhus of his job at Emory, in violation of Aarhus policy. Science these days is corrupted by govt and pharma priorities. FDA investigator Thomas Marciniak has spoken out about drug companies’ missing or “bad” data, most famously over rosiglitazone. He believes the current research and development process is broken. Ghostwriting, corporate sponsor’s influence on study design and results are examples of rampant research fraud which has been documented by numerous quality sources.

For another thing, there are multiple factors causing autism, of which vaccines are a primary factor. When a condition has multiple factors, it can be that much harder to tease out causation with epidemiology.

The way that you mock the experiences of these families is deplorable. We are always told, "The plural of anecdotes is not data!" but if these adverse events were studied as they should be they would be data. Given the sorry state of scientific research these days, to claim that parental experiences and reports can be ignored because of Science is ridiculous.

Roger Slater

Haha looks like this review is the thing that is one-sided propaganda. Watch the film or hear from the horses mouth, Dr Wakefield, and make up your own mind. There’s a fantastic interview with him and Dr Mercola online that is well worth a listen. I find it funny that the people who are questioning vaccines are simply telling other to question it themselves, and those who say the ‘science’ is settled are desperately hoping that parents stop asking questions and thinking for themselves. When it comes to the health and safety of their kids, what parent would ever stop…..

CJ

One-sided propaganda…OH NO!! LOL. That is what the public gets every day from our bought and owned mainstream media. It’s nice to hear the other side of an issue. Glad this movie was made.

Joe Harris

It appears this person writing this review, has not a clue. When a 17 yr. CDC senior scientist says; Oh! my God I cannot believe we did what we did, but we did " " the higher up’s wanted to do certain things, and I went along with them " "I have great shame, by what I done " " The CDC is so paralyzed by anything! that’s related to Autism " It appears this reporter, may have Pharma blinders on $ $

Rico

Awesome review, and the tinfoil squad’s predictable outrage at it being noted that their prophet is a sleazy snake-oil salesman is incredibly funny.

Sally Rubin

Is it a surprise that a film reviewer who uses the words agitprop and hagiographic and references Sarah Palin and Dinesh D’Souza in an opening paragraph of a film about the possibility of fraud perpetrated on children while accusing the director of said film to be self-aggrandizing is put off by sad piano music? No, it is not.

Rob England

These delusional paranoids come out fo the woodwork to comment, eliminating lied they learned on conspirator websites.
Wakefield was NOT exonerated on review.
Kennedy Junior is an attention seeking loon disgracing his family name.

Jason

Not sure if this is pure cognitive dissonance or paid shillery. Either way the reviewer sure hasn’t done is homework.

toni

I saw the film and thought it was well done. Go see the film and draw your own conclusions. The fact that Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH (2002–2008), the past director of the CDC, left the CDC to receive a high paying job at Merck made me raise an eyebrow. I’m sure after you view the film, you can always check the facts to see if you can discredit, but I highly doubt you’ll be successful.

Mike

Hey Jim, why should I give a crap about what Robert Kennedy Jr has to say? Ever hear of argument from authority fallacy? Look it up. Why didn’t you put links to these so called studies?
Why is it every time I check out anti vaxxer information, it turns out to be BS? Why is that Jim? Do they deliberately lie, or are they simply unable to check out sources themselves? Are they not smart enough to understand how to verify information?
Why is it so many anti vaxxers have to use false information? Why do so many anti vaxxers find it nessacery to bend the truth until it bleeds? One would think if they really had a legitimate argument they could simply use it without having to use hyperbole, or lie about studies that don’t exist. Or take information out of context, like taking graphs and using a tiny fraction of the graph (cherry picking).
Why is that Jim?

K.D

In case you missed the producer,s full interview . Indiewire, you,re becoming garbage. Check: VAXXED: the ABC News interview that Big Pharma didn’t want you to see on Youtube

Jim

A gentleman by the name of William R. Long holds a B.A. and Ph. D. from Brown University in Providence, R.I., the J.D. from Williamette, the M.Div. from
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, MA and was the recipient of a prestigious DAAD (Deutscher akademischer Austauschdienst) award for research and dissertation writing at the University of Tuebinbgen, Germany (1980-81). He has written an article, available on-line titled: "ON SECOND LOOKING INTO THE CASE OF DR. ANDREW J. WAKEFIELD". On the 2nd last page of the article he states his conclusion and findings. Just google, with or without the quotes "AutismFile_US31_Wakefield" and you’ll get some hits for locating it.

k.D

In case you missed the producer,s full interview . Indiewire, you,re becoming garbage. Check: VAXXED: the ABC News interview that Big Pharma didn’t want you to see

Ezra

What a GARBAGE review, must be a shill. Newsflash….IT IS NOT REAL JOURNALISM IF YOU ARE TOLD WHAT TO WRITE.

Just study the Florida doctors who were killed b/c of their research proving Autism is caused by vaccines.

jimbobboy

Apologies for the multiple pastes.

jimbobboy

RFK Jr’s paranoia and carelessness with the truth are legendary, to the point that no reputable publisher will now touch him with a boathook. Andrew Wakefield’s medical license was revoked for many good reasons, among them giving small children unnecessary spinal taps. His co-authors asked that their names be removed from the paper, which was retracted by the Lancet and is now recognized as, in the words of the British Medical Journal, "an elaborate fraud". Is RFK Jr. a credible source, and Wakefield a martyr? In the fever swamp of anti-vaccine fantasy, perhaps, but not in the real world.

RFK Jr’s paranoia and carelessness with the truth are legendary, to the point that no reputable publisher will now touch him with a boathook. Andrew Wakefield’s medical license was revoked for many good reasons, among them giving small children unnecessary spinal taps. His co-authors asked that their names be removed from the paper, which was retracted by the Lancet and is now recognized as, in the words of the British Medical Journal, "an elaborate fraud". Is RFK Jr. a credible source, and Wakefield a martyr? In the fever swamp of anti-vaccine fantasy, perhaps, but not in the real world.

RFK Jr’s paranoia and carelessness with the truth are legendary, to the point that no reputable publisher will now touch him with a boathook. Andrew Wakefield’s medical license was revoked for many good reasons, among them giving small children unnecessary spinal taps. His co-authors asked that their names be removed from the paper, which was retracted by the Lancet and is now recognized as, in the words of the British Medical Journal, "an elaborate fraud". Is RFK Jr. a credible source, and Wakefield a martyr? In the fever swamp of anti-vaccine fantasy, perhaps, but not in the real world.
RFK Jr’s paranoia and carelessness with the truth are legendary, to the point that no reputable publisher will now touch him with a boathook. Andrew Wakefield’s medical license was revoked for many good reasons, among them giving small children unnecessary spinal taps. His co-authors asked that their names be removed from the paper, which was retracted by the Lancet and is now recognized as, in the words of the British Medical Journal, "an elaborate fraud". Is RFK Jr. a credible source, and Wakefield a martyr? In the fever swamp of anti-vaccine fantasy, perhaps, but not in the real world.

Sullivanthepoop

Great review! I am not sure why some people keep getting taken in by this fraud over and over again

Me

This "whistleblower" that you have put in quotes has been declared such by the US President and has supplied over 100,000 pages of CDC documentation to the office of US Congressman Bill Possey. Which office has examined them and found them to say exactly what the documentary says – that the CDC destroyed data linking vaccines to autism.

kathleen

What a waste of writing. There are many times in medicine when a particular race of people are more susceptible to a particular outcome. This is NOT playing the race card and calling it such shows your bias before seeing the film. You went into the theater with a certain mindset and that was it. Calling names is also the normal for the "other" side of the argument. Calling a physician a dog…really? These parents are for vaccine safety. Please remember that all were "pro-vaccine" and now are dealing that they should have been better informed and had been able to demand safe vaccines.

Jim

Not directly related to the movie, but if you are at all concerned about the safety of vaccines with regards to fraudulent research that sometimes goes on behind closed doors in the Pharmaceutical industry, you might want to familiarize yourself with the Merck case that is still currently proceeding before the United States District Court for The Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Two former Merck Scientists filed suit against Merck under the False Claims Act. Stephen A. Krahling and Joan A. Wlochowski, plaintiffs versus Merck & Co., defendants. (Case 2:10-cv-04374-CDJ Document 20 Filed 04/27/10). It can be found on-line at various sources.
However, if you google the words: "rescuepost" and "vaccine" you will get a rescuepost link for the first 2010 filing. A subsequent 2014 filing is also available on-line.

Here are a few highlights of the 1st filing:

********************************************
Item 18. The reason for these continued outbreaks is that Merck’s vaccine does not have a 95 percent efficacy rate. The vaccine may have been 95 percent effective when it was originally licensed in 1967, but the vaccine virus has been waning as it is continually "passaged" to create more vaccine for distribution. Vaccine propagation further attenuates the virus, a problem which is compounded with each additional passage of the virus to create more vaccine.

B. Merck’s Improper Use of Rabbit Antibodies In Its "Enhanced" PRN Test
Item 28. The second test Merck employed under Protocol 007 was formally called the Anti-lgG Enhanced Mumps Plaque Reduction Neutralization Assay. It was commenced in 2000 and again led by Krah and his staff at Merck’s West Point facility. Relators Krahling and Wlochowski participated on the team that conducted this supposedly enhanced test. Each of them witnessed firsthand the falsification of the test data in which Merck engaged to reach its 95 percent efficacy threshold. In fact, each was significantly pressured by Krah and other senior Merck personnel to participate in the fraud.
Item 32. "Merck knew that the neutralizations attributable to the rabbit antibodies would never exist in the real world. This is because the human immune
system, even with the immunity boost provided by an effective vaccine, could never produce rabbit antibodies. And adding rabbit antibodies as a supplement to a vaccine was not an option because it could result in serious complications to a human, even death".
********************************************

Ima Skeptic

"In 1998, Andrew Wakefield, a British physician, and 12 other doctors published a paper that showed a possible correlation between autism and the MMR vaccine. The paper called for further study into the subject.

Although the paper itself did not state a definite causal effect, Dr. Wakefield publically stated his belief that the MMR caused autism and called for the MMR vaccine to be discontinued in favor of single vaccines for each disease.

The outcry that followed resulted in a sharp drop in vaccine compliance and a backlash against Wakefield and others. The paper was declared fraudulent by The United Kingdom General Medical Council regulatory board (GMC) and was retracted by the publisher.

Ten of the doctors signed a statement retracting any claim that the MMR caused autism (although the paper never said it did). Wakefield, Prof John Walker Smith, and Dr. Simon Birch refused and were brought up on charges of misconduct by the GMC. Wakefield and Smith lost their licenses to practice medicine.

However, Smith won an appeal against the GMC in 2012 that not only restored his license, it ruled that the published paper was not fraudulent and the study it was based on met required standards.

Although Wakefield has not sued for restoration of his license, he certainly has been vindicated for the study and the publication in question."
— Joel Edwards, Organic Lifestyle

Lawrence

Wonderful review – thanks for pointing out that the anti-vax Emperor has no clothes.

Jim

Corruption at the CDC? Here’s what Robert F. Kennedy has to say about the CDC on YouTube. On YouTube, just search keywords "John F Kennedy Jr vaccine" and you’ll find the video.
At 1:00 minute mark, here’s what he says: “There have been 4 separate studies by the federal government, by the United States Congress,
a 3 year study, a 1 year study by the United States Senate, a study in 2008 by the Inspector General of HHS, and a study last year by the Office and Research Integrity, and all of those studies have said the same thing: They’ve said that the vaccine division at CDC is a cesspool of corruption. The reason for that is because of financial conflicts of interest between people who work at the vaccine division
and the vaccine industry”

Erwin Alber

Talk about twisting the truth!

Dr Wakefileld never claimed a link between autism and the MMR vaccine. He simply reported what parents had told him: that their children had suffered bowel problems and developmental disorders after they had the MMR vaccine and suggested that the matter be investigated.

On the other hand, a senior CDC scientist confessed that he and his coworkers destroyed study evidence showing that the MMR vaccine causes autism, in order to proclaim the MMR vaccine safe. Which is the subject of the Vaxxed documentary.

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