By Sara Calabro
9000 Needles is bringing acupuncture to the masses.
The documentary—it follows Devin Dearth, a 40-year-old former bodybuilder, to China, where he is treated with acupuncture after suffering a massive stroke—made a splash at several of this year’s film festivals, including the Gotham Independent Film Awards, where it was a finalist alongside media darling and eventual winner Waiting for Superman.
The film was directed by Devin’s brother, Doug Dearth, whose frustrations with the U.S. health insurance industry during his brother’s recovery inspired him to research international options. He spent three-and-a-half months filming in Tianjian, China, where Devin participated in an affordable, comprehensive stroke rehabilitation program that included frequent acupuncture treatments.
9000 Needles tells a unifying story of how Devin’s family and local community put aside preconceived notions about medicine to embrace the solution that offered their loved one the most benefit.
Doug Dearth recently spoke with AcuTake about filming his brother’s journey—and how he hopes it’ll improve perceptions and accessibility of acupuncture in the U.S. Keep reading