Saturday, November 12, 2011

Phil attends a very special screening of 9,000 NEEDLES at the Camera 3 Downtown San Jose-Nov. 10, 2011

So while I was heading over to the Camera 12 in Downtown San Jose to see what was playing, I passed the Camera 3 Theater (which is half a block away for the Camera 12) and saw that there was a special screening of an independent documentary called 9,000 NEEDLES. Also the film's co-producer/director Doug Dearth and co-producer/cameraman Douglas Busby were there to participate in a Q&A session after the screening. This sounded like it was something very important, so I rushed into the theater to see the film.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2011)
Sponsored by the Five Branches Medical Centers here in San Jose, the film focuses on 40 year old Devin Dearth. Devin is living the American dream: he is a successful business man, an awarded bodybuilder, has a beautiful wife and three great kids in a nice house in their hometown of Central City, Kentucky. Then, without warning, Devin sufferers a severe stroke caused by a bleed in the brain stem. The stroke leaves Devin paralyzed on the right side of his body, resulting in him not being able to walk, double vision, difficulty speaking, and unable to take care of himself. And to make matters worse, the US Healthcare System only provided a small widow for recovery according to their coverage, forcing Devin to leave his treatment early.

Seeking alternative care, Devin's older brother Doug (the director of the film) discovers a medical facility in Tianjian, China that is both affordable and can also provide the treatment that Devin so desperately needs. After a successful benefit fundraiser, Devin is enrolled in the program in China, where they combined both modern and ancient Chinese medicine; the amalgam of these two worlds provide Devin the care he needs to win back his life.

Because Doug is family, and with clearance from the Chinese hospital, he was able to get up close and personal with documenting his brother's recovery. Through day by day treatment, which included acupuncture, herbal treatment, physical therapy, Devin showed vast improvement as well as his determination to heal quickly and to resume his daily routines again. The simply tasks that we perform on such as speaking and walking are a challenge to Devin, and to watch him gain such tremendous strides in his rehabilitation was just astounding! However, treatment go only go so far, for it is the human spirit that make a difference during the healing process. Devin was so focused on getting better that the Chinese doctors were surprised at how fast we was recovering. In the end, it was and still is a long road to for Devin, but after his full stay at the hospital, he walked out of there.

After the screening, the "Two Dougs" participated in a fascinating and informative Q&A. They talked about how Devin is doing, his second trip back to China, Devin's continuation of Chinese treatments like acupuncture and herbal remedies, and their future film projects they are working on. Later on in the lobby, Doug Dearth gave me an autographed copy of the film on DVD. I thanked him and made a small donation for his brother.

9,000 NEEDLES is a powerful, inspiring, and moving examination of the will of man, the acceptance of other medical treatments, and the faults of the American Helathcare System. Are we a country that has been outsourcing jobs and whatnot's for so long that now we as Americans are outsourcing ourselves to get the best medical treatment that we cannot afford by staying here? This doesn't sit well for me. We shouldn't have to be forced to go elsewhere in the world to get treatment, but until our healthcare system is fixed, we will continue to go to great lengths like Devin did. let's all hope that this problem is fixed very, very soon.

9,000 NEEDLES is now touring the country in select theaters and it will be shown again here over in Santa Cruz! To learn more about the film, visit the film's website at To learn more about traditional Chinese medicine here in the South Bay, visit the Five Branches Medical Centers website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a tear jerker. I think I should view it with a box of tissues.

    Thank you hun for reviewing this, and more importantly, sheding light on it for me. If I hadn't read it here, chances are I would never have seen it or heard about it. Thank you : )