This is my entry for “U” in the Blogging A to Z Challenge. Throughout April I will be watching and reviewing a documentary movie from A to Z. This is the first “U” documentary I’ve reviewed.
Release Date: 22 September 2017
Director: Jennifer Brea
Production Company: Shella Films
Jennifer Brea was leading an ordinary, active life when an illness left her with a crippling condition she could not recover from. Doctors told her that her condition was psychological but through connecting with people online she has myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), also commonly called chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
Brea made this film which she directed from her own bed to document her experience with ME. She also interviews other people with ME and their families via Skype. The film combines these interviews with photos and home movies of the subjects in their healthier days.
With no medical cure available, Brea also shows the variety of remedies people with ME share with the community. These range from foods and dietary habits to relocating to drier climates. The film also depicts the worldwide #MillionsMissing protest in which empty shoes were left in public places to represent the 25% of people with ME who are bedridden.
This is an important but difficult movie to watch. I found myself angry. Angry at how the human body can betray people like Brea. Angry at the arrogance or ignorance of those in the medical community that allows them to justify not helping.
What Can One Learn From Watching This Documentary:
If you weren’t aware of ME/CFS already, this movie is a primer on the disease. Millions of people worldwide have ME, more than Multiple Sclerosis. The vast majority are women which is the most likely reason for the stigma against people with ME. The film shows that historically women with similar symptoms were diagnosed with “hysteria” or “hypochondria.” ME also receives minimal attention in fundraising circles compared with other illnesses.
If You Like This You Might Also Want To …:
Visit #MEAction, a site for ME activism and resources for people with the disease.
Source: I watched this movie on Netflix streaming