This post shares some of my conversation with Anne Dachel of Age of Autism, whointerviewed me recently. For the full interview and an amazing body of information on the issue, visit their site.
While it is clear that the debate on vaccine saftety is uncomfortable for many, it is farfrom over. I attended an international conference on autoimmunity in May of2012 and listened to a dozen scientists present their research showing a widespectrum of harm following vaccines and their ingredients ranging from braindamage including cognitive impairment and behavioral changes, to autism,autoimmune disease, obesity and even infertility.
A growing body of scienceshows cause for concern and it is important that we as a society recognize thatthe vaccine debate is a scientific debate, not one between emotional parentsand their doctors. In The Greater Good, we tried to present all sides andperspectives and in doing so to show that this issue warrants further attentionand discussion.In making the film my fellow filmmakers directors Chris Pilaro, KendallNelson and I hoped that by sharing a wide variety ofperspectives in a fair and balanced way, we could present all the differentperspectives on the issue and let the public decide for themselves what tobelieve.
We hoped to educate audiences that the vaccine debate is not as blackand white as they may have believed, that vaccinations are a topic worthinvestigating and discussing, and that there is much science that needs to bedone to fully understand the biological impact of vaccinations.Making a film is part planning and part chance. When we began the project, we had a listof experts we wanted to interview and we had ideas for a few families. Butmaking a film is a long and organic process and what came into being in the endis a mixture of planning and chance. We set out to interview a variety ofexperts and health officials, some ended up working with us, and others didnot.
We intended to film with families who had had children injured byinfectious diseases as well as those who had been injured by vaccines but wecould not get anyone with disease injured kids to participate. Those withchildren injured by infectious diseases did not want to appear in a film thatalso told the stories of vaccine injured. We wanted to follow a family in whichthe woman was pregnant to learn with them as they learned about this nuancedissue but it never worked out. You never know where a film is going to go, whatdoors will be opened, what late breaking news will occur and so you set out tofollow a plan but you react and work with whatever comes up.
We are thrilled that the film has been widely applauded by lay, medical, and filmaudiences alike and featured at film festivals all over the world. The Greater Good received the Koroni Award for a documentary feature addressing an issue ofimportance to public health from the School of Public Health at the Universityof Alabama, Birmingham and The Greater Good was featured at the Amsterdam FilmFestival where it was awarded the Cinematic Vision Award. The film recentlyaired nationally on Current TV in the US. Members of the public and medicalprofessionals have signed up to host screenings and join the Think Againcampaign.