Anecdotals: COVID Vaccine Documentary
A compassionate exploration of the nuanced vaccine debate
"Our stories are anecdotal. But in a situation where science is changing, studies are flawed, and political agendas regulate, anecdotes could quite possibly be the most reliable data we have. I'm afraid that there's been so much energy put into declaring one solution that we may have missed crucial opportunities to ask questions. Things aren't always black and white. I'm less concerned with having the right or wrong answers. My concern is having the right questions."
~~ Jennifer Sharp, filmmaker and director of the landmark documentary Anecdotals
Dear online world,
The signs are everywhere that we live in a society seemingly incapable of civil dialogue, and where competing narratives about complex issues give rise to unprecedented levels of polarization and cancel culture. This is especially true for issues related to the COVID-19 vaccine, where political bias infects much of mainstream and independent media today, impairing our ability to think outside of our own echo chambers.
On one hand, the official narrative promotes the vaccine and its effectiveness in mitigating harm caused by the virus. This narrative tells a story that vaccine injuries are rare, and the benefits outweigh the risks according to some studies.
On the other hand, a growing number of people are raising concerns about the vaccine that reveal a complex web of flawed studies, deeper political agendas, lack of transparency, blatant censorship, and untold stories of vaccine injuries that are more common than we might think.
A democratic culture can be defined as one that invites open debate of different views, promotes transparency, and most importantly, builds trust. However, the culture and information wars playing out in society have generated ferocious argument, yet very little clarity about how we can engage with each other in the face of conflicting information on vital public health issues.
Yet what if we can have a nuanced debate that centers compassion and inquiry?
Award-winning director and filmmaker Jennifer Sharp received her Pfizer shot in March 2021 and became ill with electric shocks, muscle weakness, and numbness in the face for months after her first dose. Realizing that she was amongst a growing body of people who were significantly harmed by the vaccine, Sharp recently produced a powerful documentary called Anecdotals, that raises important questions and perspectives left out in the mainstream press about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Anecdotals follows the lives of many people who stepped up to get vaccinated for themselves or the greater good, yet whose lives changed drastically as a result. Instead of having their stories heard and seen, they were discredited and abandoned by the medical system and our media systems. The film also reflects on the division and politics that prevents those injured by the vaccine to receive the medical care they need. Furthermore, the film seeks to bridge the political divide, where people are at the center of this discussion—not polarizing political agendas.
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In sharing this film, our intentions are not to vilify or discredit any side. We believe that making sense of our challenging times includes integrating perspectives that may not be aligned with social consensus, yet adds to our awareness of what's going on. This enables us to be as empowered as possible in making responsible and wise choices for ourselves and our community.
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