Unrest

Thursday 30 November 2017

unrest

Earlier this month, my brother Stuart and I went to our local screening of Unrest, an award-winning documentary film about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Jennifer Brea is about to marry the love of her life when she’s struck down by a fever that leaves her bedridden. When doctors tell her “it’s all in her head”, she turns her camera on herself and her community as she looks for answers and fights for a cure. Although it was emotionally challenging to watch, we are pleased to share our views on this groundbreaking film with you.

“I’m hoping that this film can end the stigma, and also massively grow the scientific field. It’s really through science that we’re going to be able to find out what causes this, and ultimately how to cure this.”

Jennifer Brea

 

Synopsis

Jennifer Brea is an active Harvard PhD student about to marry the love of her life when suddenly her body starts failing her. Hoping to shed light on her strange symptoms, Jennifer grabs a camera and films the darkest moments unfolding before her eyes as she is derailed by M.E. (commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), a mysterious illness some still believe is “all in your head”.

In this story of love and loss, newlyweds Jennifer and Omar search for answers as they face unexpected obstacles with great heart. Often confined by her illness to the private space of her bed, Jen is moved to connect with others around the globe. Utilising Skype and social media, she unlocks a forgotten community with intimate portraits of four other families suffering similarly. Jennifer Brea’s wonderfully honest portrayal asks us to rethink the stigma around an illness that affects millions of people. Unrest is a vulnerable and eloquent personal documentary that is sure to hit closer to home than many could imagine.

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 has since screened at SxSW, CPH:DOX, HotDocs, River Run (Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature), the Nashville Film Festival (Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature), and Sheffield Doc/Fest (Illuminate Award). It also has a companion VR piece which premiered at Tribeca and won the Jury Award for best VR at Sheffield/DocFest.

 

 

M.E. Support Review

After a difficult week with my health, Stuart bundled me into his car and we headed to a screening of Unrest in Crowborough. I dragged myself inside the community hall and slumped into a chair, hoping I’d make it through the film without falling asleep or losing concentration! Unrest has received fantastic media coverage, especially here in the UK over recent weeks, including an interview with Jennifer on BBC News. However, I still wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but as the film started we were slowly drawn into her world. Over the next 98 minutes the room’s silence was broken with tears, laughter and whispered words between the audience.

I found the first half of Unrest particularly hard to watch, as we were shown the devastating impact of M.E. on Jennifer’s life. Having been severely affected by M.E., as described in M.E. My Story, her struggles really hit home. Her story was broken up with some of the history behind this mysterious condition. We were also introduced to several other people, including severe M.E. sufferer Jessica Taylor-Bearma from The World of One Room, along with the family of Karina Hansen, who was forcibly taken from her home and placed in a Danish hospital to undergo psychological treatment. Jennifer also interviewed researchers, including Dr Ronald Davis, Director of the Stanford Genome Technology Center, whose son Whitney is severely ill with M.E. The global Millions Missing campaign was highlighted, which protests for increased government funding for research, clinical trials, medical education and public awareness.

As an M.E. sufferer and fellow activist, I was aware of everything covered in the film, although the insight into other people’s lives was incredibly moving. Hearing them express their worries and concerns, such as the solitude and restraints on their lives, gave me a powerful connection with this film. I launched M.E. Support sixteen years ago to provide sufferers with a place to share their experiences, and Jennifer’s efforts with Unrest has given our plight an even greater platform. However, I’d have liked the film to end on a more positive note, such as an explanation of significant developments in research. Unrest is a wonderful educational tool for the medical profession, and I hope it will be broadcast on television to reach the greater public.

Stuart has been through every stage of my illness with me, and he also works in healthcare; therefore, I’d like to end this review with his thoughts on the film. He writes, “Although at times not the easiest film to watch, Unrest is a thought-provoking film which shows first-hand the struggles of M.E. sufferers in their day-to-day lives. Video diaries of several sufferers are utilised in the film to provide evidence of how M.E. affects them. Their ongoing challenges are documented, including coping with symptomology, acceptance and attaining diagnosis. Milestone moments provide positives in the film, such as showing how people can increase awareness and provide support to one another by sharing experiences and knowledge.” He concludes, “Unrest is a great insight into the lives of M.E. sufferers for those not aware of this debilitating illness, and it is a must-see for any professional working with those with M.E.”

 

Unrest is available now worldwide online.

 

 

shop-button

 

Menu

 
 
 

Most Popular

Top 5 articles for the week of April 9, 2018:

  1. The Symptoms of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
  2. It Started with a Story
  3. M.E. My Story
  4. A Self-Help Guide to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
  5. International May 12th Awareness Day
 
 

Trending Topics

Lyme Disease has received a lot of media coverage recently. The subject is covered on M.E. Support in Lyme Disease / Borreliosis & M.E. in the United Kingdom. For additional help and support, please visit Lyme Disease Action (UK) or LymeDisease.org (USA).

I am currently receiving a lot of enquiries about Candida. Please take a moment to read Candida & M.E. by Medical Herbalist Jo Dunbar. You are welcome to contact Jo at her clinic for more guidance.

 
 
 

Unrest Review

My brother Stuart and I went to our local screening of Unrest recently, an award-winning documentary film about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

Jennifer Brea is about to marry the love of her life when she’s struck down by a fever that leaves her bedridden. When doctors tell her “it’s all in her head”, she turns her camera on herself and her community as she looks for answers and fights for a cure.

Although it was emotionally challenging to watch, we are pleased to share our views on this groundbreaking film with you.

 
 
 

Featured Product

These lovely enamel Pin Badges have been specially cast for M.E. Support.

This plain blue ribbon design is suitable for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Fibromyalgia, Gulf War Syndrome and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. The badges are 25mm long and measure 14mm at the widest point (image not actual size). They have a nickel finish and a secure clutch pin fitting. These subtle badges are perfect for your jacket lapel and can be worn throughout the year.

They are a great investment at just £1.65 each. These badges are individually packaged in protective plastic bags. If your delivery address is outside the UK, please Contact Me for an Airmail quote before placing your order.

 
  
 
 
 

Amazon Wish List

One of the biggest expenses I have with running M.E. Support is the cost of office supplies. I created an Amazon Wish List so that you have the choice of supporting this cause with tangible items as an alternative to making a monetary donation.

Please consider purchasing an item from the list and Amazon will dispatch it to M.E. Support on your behalf. I currently require the following items and would appreciate any help you can provide:

 
 
 
 

How to Help

M.E. Support currently has a number of Volunteer opportunities available.

M.E. Support gratefully receives Donations and welcomes corporate, family or individual Sponsorship.

Would you like to promote a product or service? Reach potential customers with an Advertising package from M.E. Support.

M.E. Support will be launching fundraising packs and media kits in Spring 2018.

News

Page 1 of 2  > >>

18 Apr 2018
Awareness Ribbons & Wristbands
2 Apr 2018
European Network on ME/CFS
1 Apr 2018
M.E. Support Competition
1 Apr 2018
Anniversary Statement
31 Mar 2018
It Started with a Story
28 Mar 2018
Latest Rituximab Study
26 Mar 2018
Netherlands M.E./CFS Report
25 Mar 2018
M.E. Organisations
22 Mar 2018
PACE Study Reanalysed
21 Mar 2018
Link Between CFS & Thyroid Hormones

 

donate-button

 

Latest News

Subscribe to the free Newsletter

Page 1 of 2  > >>

18 Apr 2018
Awareness Ribbons & Wristbands
2 Apr 2018
European Network on ME/CFS
1 Apr 2018
M.E. Support Competition
1 Apr 2018
Anniversary Statement
31 Mar 2018
It Started with a Story
28 Mar 2018
Latest Rituximab Study
26 Mar 2018
Netherlands M.E./CFS Report
25 Mar 2018
M.E. Organisations
22 Mar 2018
PACE Study Reanalysed
21 Mar 2018
Link Between CFS & Thyroid Hormones

Diary Dates

Int. M.E. Awareness Day
12 May, Global

#MillionsMissing M.E. Protest
12th May, Global

8th Biomedical Research into ME Colloquium
30-31 May, London

13th Int. ME Conference
1 June, London

Severe ME Day
8 August, UK

CFS/ME International Conference
26-27 November, Queensland

CFS/M.E. Research Collaborative
TBA

 
 
 

Facebook Page

The M.E. Support Facebook Page is a moderated space on the social networking service.

This is an ideal place to read and comment on the latest news, discuss and seek advice on issues affecting M.E., along with getting to know like-minded people.

Simply log in or sign up for free and click 'Like' to join this growing community.

 
 

 #MESUK

 
 
 

Competitions & Offers

Every year, M.E. Support holds a competition to send someone flowers for International May 12th Awareness Day.

Who would you nominate to receive this surprise gift? Please visit the Competition page for further details.

 
 
 

Hire Me

Through my experiences as an M.E. sufferer and webmaster, I have expanded my knowledge of health related issues, along with gaining skills in multimedia management.

I am currently Available to Hire for the following projects:

  • Reviews and sponsored posts related to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis for M.E. Support.
  • Freelance writing assignments in the area of health.
  • Content creation and content curation for websites/blogs and social media.
  • Website development and social media management.
 
 
 

Bexhill Social Group

Alongside my work here at M.E. Support, I run a Social Group for people living with M.E. and related conditions in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex.

These informal monthly gatherings are a chance to meet other sufferers for friendship and support.

 

de-la-warr-pavilion

 
 
 

Louise's Gallery

Away from M.E. Support I am a keen amateur photographer. I enjoy all photographic subjects,
and I have a passion for capturing light in the natural world.

You can view a selection of my photographs, or purchase prints and greetings cards, in my online portfolio at Louise's Gallery.