[dir: Jennifer Brea | 2017 | 97m]
Twenty-eight year-old Jennifer Brea is working on her PhD at Harvard and months away from marrying the love of her life when she gets a mysterious fever that leaves her bedridden and looking for answers. Disbelieved by doctors yet determined to live, she turns her camera on herself and discovers a hidden world of millions confined to their homes and bedrooms by ME, commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome.
Unrest tells the first-person story of Jennifer and her husband, Omar, newlyweds grappling with how to live in the face of a lifelong illness. But it is also a global story about an international community of patients with a serious, life-altering illness — millions suffering invisibly, ignored by medicine and science because of sexism, ignorance, and bias.
With the lack of medical education or clear treatment guidelines, most doctors find ME difficult to diagnose. Patients spend on average five years seeking a diagnosis. Unrest brings medical providers inside spaces they are rarely able to go – their patients’ homes and bedrooms – for an intimate look at a disease that leaves 25% of patients housebound or bedbound and often unable to even seek medical care. It invites medical providers to reflect how they can best support patients and caregivers grappling with any lifelong illness for which there are no clear answers and to reconnect with the reasons they first chose their healing profession.
This screening will be introduced by Dr Michele Aaron, Director of Screening Rights Film Festival, Birmingham’s international festival of social justice film. Screening Rights aims to inspire and develop debate on the potential of film to affect personal, social and political change.