"A look inside modern animal experimentation
with the animals who lived through it
and the people who walked away.”
Maximum Tolerated Dose (MTD): An animal / human experiment to find the highest dose of a chemical that, when administered to a group of test subjects in a clinical trial, does not result in a fatality due to short-term toxicity. This dose is then used for longer-term safety studies of the same species, lasting anywhere from two years to a lifetime. The MTD test is controversial, however, in part because of difficulties in extrapolating findings to more realistic doses, and in extrapolating results from animals to humans.
Maximum Tolerated Dose is the first feature-length documentary by Decipher Films. Equal parts found-footage mash-up, verité investigation, and artful meditation, the film charts the lives of both humans and non-humans who have experienced animal testing first-hand, with hauntingly honest testimony of scientists and lab technicians whose ethics demanded they choose a different path, as well as the simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking stories of animals who have seen both sides of the cage. MTD aims to re-ignite the debate about animal testing by bringing these rarely-heard perspectives to the fore.
Directed by Karol Orzechowski
Edited by Karol Orzechowski & Jonathan Eagan
Produced by Jonathan Hodgson, Jennifer Bundock & Karol Orzechowski
Additional Filming by Jo-Anne McArthur & Guna Subramaniam
With Selected Archival Footage from The BUAV & Igualdad Animal
Music by Wyrd Visions and Bryan W. Bray
"The aesthetic visual style, sound design, and graphics in Maximum Tolerated Dose achieve the level of artistic understatement necessitated by the horrible subject. In many ways the film is like a really good, cerebral, horror movie. The incorporation of animal testing footage is sufficient to be suggestive of the horror, but not unendurable.
The use of archival fifties animal research footage with its mandatory paternalistic narration even provides some occasional ironic/comic relief. But in the end it only demonstrates how little attitudes have actually changed when it comes to archaic cruelty.”
Our Hen House Review (at about 1:05:00)
"In addition to how some of this footage was painful to watch, what made it not exactly ‘easier’ but more watch-able, is that this is such an extraordinarily beautiful movie. [Director Karol Orzechowski] is a photographer, and he just has a feel for a really beautiful shot. […] Where often overly-dramatic music can muddy the point of a film, the music was non-manipulative and felt like it went organically with the images. […] But the core of it is the testimony of former researchers who have seen more than they ever wanted to see, and whose lives have been shattered."
Interview with Laika Magazine
Interview on Animal Voices Toronto
Interview on ARZone Podcast
Spanish Language Interview with EnExtinción.org
Interview on Striking at the Roots Blog
Interview in Reno Gazette Journal
Our Hen House Podcast Interview (at about 23:00)
Vegan Police Interview