When medicine has no answers for you, where do you turn? Jennifer Brea is a Harvard PhD student suddenly struck down by a mysterious illness that leaves her exhausted but too tired even to sleep. Doctors don’t believe she’s ill at all but Jennifer is determined to find out what it is. As she reaches out through the lens of a camera, she touches other lives shrouded in the same darkness and reveals an unseen community of people suffering from myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or chronic fatigue.
This brilliantly inventive and moving documentary follows Jennifer’s experience with ME and her determination to prove that it is a real illness. Including one-on-one pieces to camera and SKYPE interviews with fellow sufferers, she creates a vivid picture of life with this challenging condition. Unrest world-premiered in January in the documentary competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, where it won a Special Jury Prize for editing. It also won the Illuminate Award at Sheffield Documentary Festival.
We are delighted to be welcome two speakers for our post-film discussion. Karl Morten is an ME/CFS researcher, and is especially interested in understanding the role of mitochondria in health and disease. He will be joined by Nina Muirhead, a doctor specialising in oncology and dermatology surgery who is also a sufferer of ME/CFS and keen to increase general awareness of the illness.
Dir. Jennifer Brea. USA, 2017. 1h 38m. Starring Jennifer Brea, Omar Wasow, Jessica l e Taylor, Samuel Bearman, Ruby Taylor, Colin Taylor.
‘A bracingly inventive and moving documentary’ ★★★★ Simran Hans, The Guardian
‘Researching others’ experiences as well as recording her own, Brea turns an unflinching eye on the distressing details of those left bed-ridden.’ ★★★★ Stephen Puddicombe, Total Film
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