In 2001, Ketchum-raised Leslie Manookian was working in finance in London when she had a conversation that would change the course of her life. A man casually mentioned that vaccines could cause harm. Manookian's initial disbelief in this statement started her down a path that will cross the Wood River Valley this Sunday when the documentary she wrote and produced, "The Greater Good," is screened as part of the inaugural Sun Valley Film Festival.
"The Greater Good" is a character-driven documentary that delves into the thorny issue of childhood immunizations. It presents advocates from both sides of the debate. On one side are parent-activists who believe their children have been injured by vaccine side effects, as well as doctors and scientists who have concerns about vaccine safety and are calling for more research. On the other side are doctors and public health officials who believe that vaccines are necessary and that the negative side effects are rare.
The documentary is the fulfillment of a long and arduous journey for Manookian, who is once again a Ketchum resident. She enlisted the help of two fellow Wood River Valley residents, director/producer Chris Pilaro and director/producer Kendall Nelson, to bring her vision to life.