9000 Needles

I saw a screening of 9000 Needles last night in Hollywood at the Oasis Theatre. It's a documentary directed by Doug Dearth and follows his brother, Devin Dearth, as he goes on a journey to China for medical care after he suffers a debilitating stroke and is denied the care and rehabilitation he needs by his medical insurance.

The film is remarkably neutral when depicting the role of health care in the story. During the Q&A after the film with Director Doug Dearth and DP/Co-Producer Douglas Busby, Mr. Dearth comments on how he wanted his brother's story to speak for itself. The situation Devin Dearth was put in is clearly an effect of the joke that is America's health care and didn't really require any further political comment from anyone in the film.

It was truly awe inspiring to see the leaps and bounds Devin made under the care of the staff at the rehabilitation facility he went to in China. After the first day of treatment he was able to lift a leg inches off the bed that he had previously not been able to move at all.

It was heartbreaking to see this man who was a former pro body builder, father of three and husband with a great job be reduced to needing constant care from his wife and family, with no hope at getting the help he needed to recover here in America. In the midst of his struggle, Devin demonstrated a clear determination and courage that you would not expect a man in his situation to have, all the while keeping a sense of humor and trying harder than most would.

Go to the website for information on future screenings, and if you can't make it to Hollywood, consider contacting the makers of the film to set up a screening in your town.


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