“Parasites: A User’s Guide:” A Short Film Screening with Filmmaker and Ecologist Sharon Shattuck, Radiolab Affiliate

Poster_ObservatoryDate: Tuesday, October 26
Time: 8:00
Admission: $5
Presented by Morbid Anatomy

The word “parasite” comes with loads of vile connotations, but in nature, nothing is purely good or evil. In the 27-minute experimental documentary “Parasites: A User’s Guide,” filmmaker Sharon Shattuck embarks on a journey to decode some of the most misunderstood creatures on earth.

The dramatic rise in autoimmune diseases, asthma, and allergies since the turn of the last century has confounded scientists, but some researchers think they have uncovered the key to controlling the skyrocketing rates: tiny parasitic worms called ‘helminths.’ Using a blend of handmade and digital animation, film, and music, Sharon dives headlong into the controversial discourse surrounding ‘helminthic therapy,’ with help from scientific researchers, proactive patients and a renegade entrepreneur named Jasper Lawrence. Through the seeming oxymoron of the ‘helpful parasite,’ Sharon questions the nature of our relationship with parasites-and suggests a new paradigm for the future. “Parasites: A User’s Guide” is a film about ecology, healing, and worms.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker and an active helminth patient.

Check out the film’s website for more info: www.parasites-film.com

Bio: Before moving to Brooklyn, Sharon Shattuck studied tropical botany, and worked as a researcher with the Field Museum and the Smithsonian Institute in Panama. Following a grad stint in documentary media, she now works as an animator with Wicked Delicate Films (producers of “King Corn,” 2007) in Brooklyn, and is a contributor to the WNYC science show ‘Radiolab.’ Now, Sharon is touring the mainstream film fest circuit with her quirky science film “Parasites: A User’s Guide,” demonstrating that science can be both informative AND entertaining.

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