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.
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.
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.)