Dr. Pitts and the Dancing Ladies| 15mins
Director: Jacob Hurwitz-Goodman | Producer: Jacob Hurwitz-Goodman
Focus Years: 2012 | Country: United States
The film profiles the work of Detroit pharmaceutical scientist David Pitts, a man fascinated by a tiny, elegant all-female species of crustacean called "daphnia". His research involves gluing live daphnia to the head of a pin, suspending the animal in a droplet of water underneath a powerful microscope, attaching an HD video camera to the microscope, and taking live video of the animal as he pumps pharmaceuticals through the water to measure the drugâ€™s effects on the daphnia.
Dr. Pitts is not being funded by a drug company to do this work. He is testing drugs commonly found in Metro Detroitâ€™s rivers, lakes, and drinking water; the invisible stuff not targeted by water treatment facilities. By seeing how the drugs effect the daphnia, his mission is to glean information on how the ecosystem, including human beings, are being effected by the â€œthin chemical soupâ€ in our waterways.
â€œDancing Ladiesâ€ paints a portrait of Dr. Pitts and his intimate relationship with this incredible creature, while also shedding light on larger themes of water security and human health in the industrialized world.