The directorial debut of disgraced former doctor and anti-vaccination campaigner, Andrew Wakefield, will have its Australian debut at CLIFF this October.
Vaxxed: From Cover Up to Catastrophe, purports to uncover a conspiracy within the United States’ Centre for Disease Control and Prevention to destroy or alter data linking autism with the MMR vaccination. The film was scheduled to make its world premiere at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year, but was pulled at the last minute at the behest of festival founder Robert de Niro.
Th film has been widely denounced by both the scientific community and the critical fraternity as a work of propaganda.
Festival director David Thrussell, a noted musician best known for his work with bands Snog and Black Lung, as well as his soundtrack work on the likes of The Hard Word, Thunderstruck and Angst, defended the decision to include the film.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, he said, “There’s a clear public interest in the film, it was the number-one best selling documentary on Amazon last week. It strikes me as undemocratic to not listen to dissenting voices, a healthy democracy requires dissent.”
Thrussell also alleged that CLIFF staffers had been subject to online abuse and hacking, calling it “an professional campaign of intimidation and saying, “We won’t be intimidated, we’ve shown controversial films before, we try to touch on a whole lot of areas of public interest.”
CLIFF runs from October 7 -9 at Castlemaine’s Theatre Royal. For more information, go to the official site.