Whether or not, you’re a firm believer in freedom of speech and everything it ensues in the digital era where communication of information seems to be inevitable, there’s a point we have to agree on: Science is irrefutable. You cannot compare medical journals with a random video you found on YouTube or someone posted on Facebook. If you can’t see one’s importance above the other, you’re simply blinded and/or partial.
And yes, you have the right to think so. It’s the beauty of living in democracy. But as a very intelligent man says on Shot in the Arm, democracy perishes when facts stop being facts.
Why must a health issue become so political? It’s the first question that arises with Scott Hamilton Kennedy’s documentary about anti vaccination movements taking over the scenario in a tumultuous time. This is the most COVID-19 related film ever, that isn’t specifically about the COVID-19 pandemic. It all starts with measles, and an epidemic occurring in the United States whose roots are linked to a social movement that’s incredibly hard to understand.
I say this because it isn’t simple at all. Anti-vacs, or vaccine hesitant people, are following what they believe to be facts. Autism has been linked to vaccines but by themselves, influencers who claim to have the truth, and even fraudulent specialists who have used professional channels to spread their message. Science says otherwise about autism, and the film’s sequence about this subject is ravishing and compelling.
The documentary is a deep dive into a world of politics, medicine, and a different kind of activism. COVID-19 took things to a whole new level when the President of the nation went back and forth in his views about the disease, and his consideration of the medical leaders who were always looking for a solution. It’s quite ironic that the January 2021 Capitol Raids are directly associated with an anti-vaccine rally. Yes, it’s Far Right shenanigans, but then again this is a health issue. Much more important than a political one.
Amidst the chaos, Kennedy’s documentary feels like a glimmer of hope. Of course, some of us have our way of thinking, and the documentary tilts one way. But the director never goes for a violent address to the ones sitting on the opposite side. They even get their chance, even if what they do is just mumble when facing the truth on camera.
Shot in the Arm is one of those films everyone should see. If you believe in vaccines or not, this could speak to you. And it could move you towards the more analytical stage. Sometimes that’s what it takes. A little bit of thinking., while the world crumbles. Nations had the capacity to blame it all on you just because you insisted on being human during the most disastrous health event of the 21st Century. So far.