ByJames McDonald, writer at
James is a Movie Critic and Celebrity Interviewer with over 30 years of experience as an Award-Winning Filmmaker.
James McDonald

Last week, “Nuts!” director Penny Lane (“Our Nixon”) wrote a widely circulated letter to Tribeca Film Festival criticizing their inclusion of “Vaxxed,” a new “documentary” directed by the disgraced quack Andrew Wakefield. The festival has since pulled the film from its lineup.

It’s a conversation sure to continue when Lane’s Sundance award-winning film “Nuts!” opens at New York City’s Film Forum June 22nd, followed by a platform release in select cities across America throughout the summer. Cartuna has partnered with mTuckman Media to release the film theatrically.

“My contribution to the conversation about quackery and documentary film is this film, which, unlike a Facebook post, took almost eight years to make,” Lane says. “I made the film because I care deeply about this issue and I wanted to understand exactly how quacks like Andrew Wakefield operate and why we fall for them.”

She adds that “Nuts!” is not just about quackery, but also “how quacks use storytelling, rhetoric and media such as documentary films – as we now see with the ‘Vaxxed’ example – to manipulate people. As a documentary filmmaker, it is offensive to me when I see people using the power of nonfiction storytelling to deceive and trick people.”

“Nuts!” tells the story of John Romulus Brinkley, a Kansas doctor who in 1917 discovered that he could cure impotence by transplanting goat testicles into men. Mixing hand-drawn animated reenactments, interviews and archival footage, “Nuts!” traces Brinkley’s rise from poverty and obscurity to the heights of celebrity, wealth, and influence. Along the way, he transplants thousands of goat testicles, amasses an enormous fortune, is (sort of) elected Governor of Kansas, invents junk mail and the infomercial, builds the world’s most powerful radio station, and generally annoys the heck out of the establishment.

“It’s a crazy story, and it resonates today with Trump as much as Wakefield,” Lane says.

“Nuts!” had its world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and was the recipient of the Special Jury Award for Editing. It will be screening at the following upcoming festivals: Hot Docs, Full Frame, San Francisco, Ashland, Sarasota, Calgary Underground, Cleveland, BAFICI, and Holland Animation Film Festival.

For more information, please visit the Official Website.

“Nuts!” hits theaters June 22nd

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