Jim Allison: Breakthrough

Bill Haney, USA 2019, 106’
Polish premiere
I Want My MTV (aka Biography: I Want My MTV) Love, Antosha

The immunologist James P. Allison, the title character in Bill Haney’s documentary, was awarded the Nobel Prize for his achievements in the fight against cancer. During the opening minutes of the film, we see Allison, elegantly dressed in black and white, as he receives the most prestigious of all awards during the Nobel gala. Then we see a completely different picture by way of contrast: Allison standing on stage with his band and playing the harmonica; his long, gray hair moves in waves around his cheeks. It’s not that he has two opposite personalities: James and Jim—the genius and the dude. Once he enters his lab, his natural nonchalance doesn’t disappear in the least. When he’s working, he’s not afraid to disregard his beliefs and go against the tide. He has been called an iconoclast, a rebel. And it is this attitude that enabled him to make a scientific breakthrough that has helped save countless people suffering from cancer.

Piotr Mirski

Bill Haney

A graduate of Harvard College, Bill Haney is an inventor and technology entrepreneur. He is also a filmmaker—mainly documentaries—who works as a director, screenwriter, and producer. His films have been shown at various festivals, including SXSW and Sundance.

Selected filmography

2004 Racing Against the Clock (doc.)

2005 A Life Among Whales (doc.)

2007 The Price of Sugar (doc.)

2011 The Last Mountain (doc.)

2019 Jim Allison: Przełom / Jim Allison: Breakthrough (doc.)

Cast & Crew

director Bill Haney
screenplay Bill Haney
cinematography Graham Talbot, Nelson Talbot, archival footage
editing Peter Rhodes
music Mark Orton, Mickey Raphael
cast Woody Harrelson (narrator)
producer Bill Haney, Jennifer Pearce
production Uncommon Productions
sales Jennifer Pearson
language English
coloration colour & b&w
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