ME/CFS AUSTRALIA (SA) INC
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ME/CFS Australia (SA) Inc supports the needs of sufferers of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and related illnesses. We do this by providing services and information to members.
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Unrest Movie Reviews
Wednesday 25 January 2017
Sundance Film Review: ‘Unrest’
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers get a podium to discuss their still little-understood.
A largely mysterious condition that reportedly afflicts as many as 17 million people worldwide, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome still flummoxes most physicians, and remains frequently dismissed as a psychosomatic “illness” — including by some nations. Still, it’s hard to buy the “all in your head” diagnosis when seeing the long-term, sometimes entirely bedridden victims of CFS in “Unrest.” Director Jennifer Brea is one of them herself, and this first-feature documentary chronicles her own struggles while taking in the perspectives of other patients and experts around the globe. Though the “Patient, film thyself” concept is starting to risk overexposure — Sundance alone premieres two such features this year, the other being ALS-themed “It’s Not Dark Yet” — “Unrest” is a high-grade example of the form that’s consistently involving, with content diverse enough to avoid the tunnel-visioned pitfalls of diarist cinema.
'Unrest': Film Review | Sundance 2017
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Jennifer Brea, trying to cope with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, makes a doc about the little-understood disease.
Late in Jennifer Brea's Unrest, a doctor informs us that Multiple Sclerosis, the devastating nervous system disorder, was viewed by doctors as a "hysterical" illness — one essentially invented in the sufferer's own mind — right up until the CAT scan was introduced, allowing previously dismissive doctors to see what was going on inside their patients' bodies. Unrest finds a similar difficulty facing people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a debilitating but controversial disorder that is barely understood and in some quarters denied entirely. Using her own experience with the syndrome as a springboard, Brea offers an affecting film that, when made available on video, will be embraced by the millions suffering CFS worldwide.
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