National Geographic Documentary Films and Magnolia Pictures have paired up to chronicle America’s top infectious disease expert since the 1980s. The new film Fauci, which was made in secret, follows Dr. Anthony Fauci’s career as a public official through seven administrations. It also invites us into his personal life through the decades.
Emmy winners John Hoffman (Sleepless in America) and Janet Tobias (Unseen Enemy) have directed the documentary and Academy Award winner Dan Cogan (Icarus) and two-time Academy Award nominee Liz Garbus (What Happened, Miss Simone?) have produced the film. Dr. Fauci had no creative control over the film nor was he paid for his participation. He is the subject of the film with no financial interests .
“There is only one Dr. Fauci, and it is an incredible privilege to bring his inspiring, lifelong quest to cure disease and prevent outbreaks, to viewers around the world,” said Hoffman and Tobias in a statement. “This film will be an unprecedented, intimate portrait of our nation’s greatest public servant, whose relentless pursuit of truth and devotion to science has never been more important.”
Interviews from people from all walks of life include family and friends, patients and colleagues, including George W. Bush, Bill Gates, Bono, former HHS secretary Sylvia Burwell, former national security advisor Susan Rice, NIH director Dr. Francis Collins, former CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden, and various AIDS activists and organizers.
The official synopsis reads, “The film delivers a rare glimpse into the long-standing professional career and personal life of the ultimate public servant, who after a lifetime of service faced his biggest test: a pandemic whose ferocity is unmatched in modern history. With his signature blend of scientific acumen, candor and integrity, Dr. Anthony Fauci became a cultural icon during the COVID-19 pandemic. But that has come at a cost as he has also faced attacks from adversaries in a nation increasingly divided by political party lines, with science increasingly caught in the crosshairs.”
Carolyn Bernstein, EVP Global Scripted Content and Documentary Films for National Geographic emphasized, however, that the movie is not political in any way. “We acknowledge the partisan nature of the world and how Fauci became a very polarizing figure, but it’s really about, as with (the Ruth Bader Ginsberg documentary) RBG, the selfless life of a dedicated public servant, and the sacrifices that you make.”
National Geographic Documentary Films has previously released Free Solo which won Best Documentary Feature at the 91st Academy Awards in 2019. The film profiles rock climber Alex Honnold on his quest to perform a free solo climb of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park in June 2017. They also garnered an Academy nomination for The Cave that delved into a group of female doctors in Ghouta, Syria, amidst air strikes and bombings, who struggle with systemic sexism while trying to care for the injured using limited resources.
Fauci will get its theatrical release September 10 in select cities (specifically only those with appropriate mandates and guidelines for theaters), and then debuts in October on Disney+.