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Monday, March 26, 2018

The Experiments

Knifed with a Smile

The Experiments

a three-part documentary film series directed by Bosse Lindquist

Dr. Paolo Macchiarini relaxes into a barber’s chair, leaning back to have his hair washed. “I am working for the university, and we are trying to create new organs,” he tells the barber, pausing to add an explanation: “Frankenstein.” Although Macchiarini, a transplant surgeon born in Switzerland to Italian parents, is fending off charges of research misconduct at his university, he appears untroubled, even carefree, in this scene from Bosse Lindquist’s documentary The Experiments.1 Knowing what lies ahead for him—dismissal, disgrace, manslaughter charges—it’s hard not to think of the beginning of Brian De Palma’s film The Untouchables, in which Robert De Niro, playing Al Capone, entertains questions from reporters as he gets a shave. Macchiarini is just as charming. As the barber finishes his work, Macchiarini breaks into a mischievous grin. “Perfect,” he says, clapping his hands in appreciation.
Few medical research scandals are as spectacular as Macchiarini’s. Five years ago he was a celebrity surgeon at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, one of Europe’s premier medical centers, which awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. /.../

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