Accidental Advocate (2009)
Director: Jessica Gerstle
Participants: Family - Claude Gerstle, M.D.; Jessica Gerstle; Ellen Gerstle; Ari Gerstle; Jeremy Gerstle; Scientists - James Thomson, Ph.D.; Irving Weissman, Ph.D.; Joanne Kurtzberg, M.D.,; Douglas Melton, Ph.D.; George Daley, M.D., Ph.D.; Hans Keirstead, Ph.D.; Jeffrey Jones, Ph.D.; Kevin Eggan, Ph.D.; Wise Young, M.D., Ph.D.; Politicians - President George W. Bush; Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA); Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY); Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS); Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK); Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA); Senator Tom Harkin (D-IO); Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); Representative Diana DeGetter (D-CO); Senator John Kerry (D-MA); Senator Bill Frist (Ret. R-TN); Ethicists & Theologians - Reverend Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D.; Imam Abdulaziz Sachedina; Rabbi Michale Broyde; Reverend Dr. William J. Danaher, Jr.; R. Alta Charo, J.D.; The Advocates - Michael J. Fox; Robert Klein; Douglas Wick; Lucy Fisher; Michelle Mundt; Dr. David A. Prentice; Arnold Schwarzenegger
"The Accidental Advocate profiles Dr. Claude Gerstle, a surgeon and athlete who suffered a tragic bicycle accident in 2003 that left him quadriplegic. The film is a wheelchair odyssey bringing him and his daughter Jessica, an award-winning television news producer, from the laboratories of the world's most eminent stem cell researchers all the way to Congress and the White House on their quest for a cure. What starts as a medical question quickly evolves into a social and political ducation. Together they track down the thinkers, politicians, crusaders and naysayers in an effort to explore the hope, hype, passions and fears fueled by the stem cell debate. Appearances by Michael J. Fox, Hillary Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger and others political heavies round out a film that shows why and how embryonic stem cell research has become such a political football. "The debate over research on embryonic stem cells can seem pretty abstract, so if you want to get a real feel for the effect of President Bush's ban . . . see if you can catch a screening of a documentary called The Accidental Advocate." - Sharon Begley, Newsweek Premiered during the 2008 Republican and Democratic Conventions as part of the Impact Film Festival, it is essential viewing for those who desire real change. The Accidental Advocate has the power to influence policy and ultimately make a difference in the lives of more than 100 million Americans who stand to benefit from stem cell research." [copied from the January 6, 2009 press release at http://theaccidentaladvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/aa-press-release-1-6-09.pdf]
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