The Bleeding Edge
|The Bleeding Edge|
|Directed by||Kirby Dick|
|Produced by||Amy Ziering and Amy Herdy|
|Music by||Jeff Beal|
|Edited by||Derek Boonstra|
|Distributed by||Netflix in association with Shark Island Institute|
Written and directed by Kirby Dick and produced by Amy Ziering and Amy Herdy, it premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, where it was billed as “the stuff of dystopian nightmares.” The film was released on Friday, July 27, 2018 on Netflix.
In The Bleeding Edge, Academy Award-nominated investigative filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering turn their sights on the $400 billion medical device industry; examining lax regulations, corporate cover-ups, and profit-driven incentives that put patients at risk daily. Weaving emotionally powerful stories of people whose lives have been irrevocably harmed, the film asks: what life-saving technologies may actually be killing us? The documentary explores Bayer’s permanent birth control device Essure, vaginal mesh, the Da Vinci Surgical System, and chrome-cobalt hip-replacements.
Upon its July 27, 2018 release, the film was chosen as the New York Times Pick of the Week, and Rotten Tomatoes indicated that 100% of users gave the film positive reviews. Frank Scheck, writing for The Hollywood Reporter, called the film “a terrifying eye-opener,” and notes that “the film concludes by informing us that no one from the FDA or any of the companies involved agreed to be interviewed.” Owen Gleiberman, in his review for Variety, stated that “Kirby Dick's disturbingly powerful exposé nails a corporatized America.” IndieWire predicted the film “stands a good chance at enlightening more people who have been (or might be) hoodwinked.”
Flavorwire says the film “alternates history with the stories of those who are suffering under the side effects of a handful of poorly tested devices, and their descriptions of their conditions are visceral, scary, and horrifying, accumulating in a film that’s hard to watch and harder to ignore.” April Wolfe, writing for The Village Voice, analyzed how Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick continue their “legacy of equally infuriating and enlightening documentaries,” while The Los Angeles Times declared that “The Bleeding Edge can already be called an agent for change.”
The impact of the film was felt immediately as a week before its release, The Bleeding Edge became a part of a national news story when Bayer removed the birth control device Essure from the U.S. market, one of the many devices heavily criticized and warned about in the doc. Entertainment Weekly promptly added it on their list of documentaries that have changed the world.
The film quickly generated discussion among the medical industry. The website Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry noted that The Bleeding Edge “has rattled the medical device industry and left countless viewers speechless,” while BMJ’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Journal tweeted that the film was “an excellent, disturbing documentary about the need for better trials and evidence around medical devices, especially when it comes to women's health.” Stat News quoted a neurosurgeon who stated that the film made him “wonder what the misuse of medical technology means for patients and for doctors” and led him to “believe we need a change of culture to avoid overuse of procedures or misuse of drugs and devices.” The Mike on Medtech podcast called the film a “mandatory watch for everybody working in the medical device industry,” and Healthcare Analytics News noted that it “inspired anger among those inside and outside healthcare, prompting calls for change."
- Patel, Neel "The Daily Beast," April 30, 2018
- Hammonds, Loren "Tribeca Film Festival", 2018
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- Wolfe, April. "Netflix's "The Bleeding Edge" Exposes the Horrors the FDA Approves From Medical Device Makers". The Village Voice.
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- Kiefer, Halle. "Birth Control Essure Pulled From Market Prior to Release of Netflix Doc The Bleeding Edge". Vulture. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
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- @BMJ_SRH (August 2, 2018). "An excellent, disturbing documentary about the need for better trials and evidence around medical devices, especially when it comes to women's health ow.ly/QMCE30lar5b #thebleedingedge" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Anderer, Erich. "Lessons for physicians from 'The Bleeding Edge': If you see something, say something". STAT News. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
- Drues, Mike; Fenske, Sean. "Mike on Medtech: The Bleeding Edge, Part 1". Medical Product Outsourcing. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
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