Dr. Peyser with a patient in a scene from the documentary "Doctored." (Bobby Sheehan )
Though it's mostly one-sided and sometimes plays like a commercial for the alternative medical community, "Doctored" makes a cogent case for real cooperation between Western medicine and less traditional protocols.
Writer-director Bobby Sheehan (he also produced and shot the documentary) begins by exploring chiropractic care and presents a case that, despite mainstream medicine's longtime crusade to brand it "quackery," it is a highly viable, at times superior alternative to standard surgery and prescription therapy.
A well-chosen array of practitioners and their vastly improved patients, whose issues include chronic pain, frozen shoulder syndrome, multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease, autism and cancer, offer enlightening testimony on behalf of chiropractic treatment.
The movie expands into a discussion of diet and exercise and their importance to physical health. No matter how often these points are stressed in any forum, it never ceases to convince with their simplicity ("Walk 30 minutes, five times a week!" "Eat whole foods!").
Several farmers also weigh in on organic produce versus genetically modified foods.
The film also argues that child vaccines can be dangerous and that many prescription drugs pedaled by physicians often thought to be in sync with greedy Big Pharma are potentially addictive.
"Doctored" is an involving, well-crafted, humane look at a topic that stands to affect us all.
No MPAA rating
Running time: 1 hour, 43 minutes
Playing: At Laemmle's Monica 4-Plex, Santa Monica; opens Friday at the Los Feliz 3, Los Angeles