The Bleeding Edge

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The Bleeding Edge
The Bleeding Edge.png
Directed byKirby Dick
Produced byAmy Ziering and Amy Herdy
Music byJeff Beal
CinematographyThaddeus Wadleigh
Edited byDerek Boonstra
Andy McAllister
Distributed byNetflix in association with Shark Island Institute
Release date
  • April 21, 2018 (2018-04-21) (Tribeca Film Festival)
  • July 27, 2018 (2018-07-27) (United States)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Bleeding Edge is a 2018 Netflix Original documentary film that investigates the $400 billion medical device industry.[1]

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.”[2] The film was released on Friday, July 27, 2018 on Netflix.[3]


In The Bleeding Edge, Academy Award-nominated investigative filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering turn their sights on the $400 billion medical device industry[4]; 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.[5]



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.[6] 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.”[7] Owen Gleiberman, in his review for Variety, stated that “Kirby Dick's disturbingly powerful exposé nails a corporatized America.”[8] IndieWire predicted the film “stands a good chance at enlightening more people who have been (or might be) hoodwinked.”[9]

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.”[10] April Wolfe, writing for The Village Voice, analyzed how Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick continue their “legacy of equally infuriating and enlightening documentaries,”[11] while The Los Angeles Times declared that “The Bleeding Edge can already be called an agent for change.”[12]


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.[13] Entertainment Weekly promptly added it on their list of documentaries that have changed the world.[14]

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,”[15] 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.”[16] 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.”[17] The Mike on Medtech podcast called the film a “mandatory watch for everybody working in the medical device industry,”[18] and Healthcare Analytics News noted that it “inspired anger among those inside and outside healthcare, prompting calls for change."[19]


  1. ^ Patel, Neel "The Daily Beast," April 30, 2018
  2. ^ Hammonds, Loren "Tribeca Film Festival", 2018
  3. ^ "Netflix Original, The Bleeding Edge"
  4. ^ Japsen, Bruce. "Medical Technology Sales To Hit $500B Within Five Years". Forbes. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  5. ^ "The Bleeding Edge - About". The Bleeding Edge. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  6. ^ Jaworowski, Ken. "Review: In 'The Bleeding Edge,' Victims of Medical Devices". New York Times.
  7. ^ Scheck, Frank (April 23, 2018). "'The Bleeding Edge': Film Review | Tribeca 2018". The Hollywood Reporter.
  8. ^ Gleiberman, Owen. "Film Review: 'The Bleeding Edge'". Variety.
  9. ^ Kohn, Eric. "'The Bleeding Edge' Review: Netflix Doc Proves That the Medical Device Industry is Destroying Lives — Tribeca". IndieWire.
  10. ^ Bailey, Jason. "The Best and Worst Documentaries of the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival". Flavorwire.
  11. ^ Wolfe, April. "Netflix's "The Bleeding Edge" Exposes the Horrors the FDA Approves From Medical Device Makers". The Village Voice.
  12. ^ Abele, Robert. "Review: Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering expose FDA, $400 billion-dollar medical device industry in wrenching doc 'The Bleeding Edge". Los Angeles Times.
  13. ^ Kiefer, Halle. "Birth Control Essure Pulled From Market Prior to Release of Netflix Doc The Bleeding Edge". Vulture. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  14. ^ Young, John; Feldberg, Isaac. "From The Bleeding Edge to Blackfish, these documentaries changed the world". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  15. ^ Pederson, Amanda. "The Bleeding Edge: The Making of a Medical Device Documentary". MD+DI. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  16. ^ @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 #thebleedingedge" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  17. ^ Anderer, Erich. "Lessons for physicians from 'The Bleeding Edge': If you see something, say something". STAT News. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  18. ^ Drues, Mike; Fenske, Sean. "Mike on Medtech: The Bleeding Edge, Part 1". Medical Product Outsourcing. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  19. ^ Murtha, Jack. "How the FDA Is Trying to Promote Med-Tech Innovation". Healthcare Analytics News. Retrieved September 6, 2018.

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