The Bleeding Edge Documentary Review


A Shocking Look At The Medical Department

Medical documentary The Bleeding Edge certainly isn’t for the fainthearted. Exploring the side effects of when advanced technological devices go wrong and the glaring issues within the American medical department, The Bleeding Edge is a gripping, shocking documentary, using a combination of interviews and real promotional material for the devices to drive home a message about the glaring issues within the FDA.

Throughout the 100 minute run-time, The Bleeding Edge follows several new devices including Eassure (a revolutionary coil implant in the uterus), DaVinci (a robotic surgical tool) and vaginal mesh. While other devices are also touched on these three in particular make up the bulk of the run time. The Bleeding Edge is both shocking and poignant, mixing real world stories of various women with interviewed personnel working at these big pharmaceutical companies including Johnson & Johnson. The underlying attention is set firmly on the FDA and the failings within the medical industry and it’s here that The Bleeding Edge works really well.

Despite its graphic content, The Bleeding Edge manages to sustain your attention throughout the documentary. The focus is shifted to a new device at just the right time and each of the women have a powerful and often upsetting story about how these devices have gone wrong. There is an attempt to be impartial here but it’s difficult to remain so passive with so many glaring issues that come as a result of a flawed testing system. With tens of thousands of women all experiencing the same life-altering pain and issues, The Bleeding Edge explores the failings of the medical industry and just how easy it is to launch a medical device on the market that hasn’t been properly tested. It’s this underlying examination of the industry that makes this medical documentary such an absorbing watch.

There’s a good use of editing here too, with cuts between adverts for the products, interviews with the various women and establishing shots of various locations across America. The humble, brutally honest accounts of each of the women juxtapose really well against the clean-cut, self-assured confidence of the doctors that defiantly believe their products can do no wrong. This is certainly an emotionally stirring documentary but it’s also worth noting that some of the stories are incredibly graphic and those with a weak disposition should probably be warned in advance that each of these stories are upsetting and stomach churning in equal doses.

While The Bleeding Edge is unlikely to be an award winning documentary, there’s enough here to make it an enthralling, absorbing watch nonetheless. Although the documentary does come across as biased for large portions of its run-time, it’s difficult to remain impartial when the statistics favour the affected women so heavily. The shifting focus between the different devices is handled well too, switching up perspective at just the right time to maintain your attention through to the final credits. Ultimately, The Bleeding Edge is an important, scathing examination of the failings within the medical industry and a warning to be wary of new devices flooding the market.

  • Verdict - 8/10