DOXA 2017 review: Unrest


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      When Jennifer Brea began to have difficulty moving, became light-sensitive, and eventually ended up bedridden, her doctors told her that it was all in her head.

      Helpless, she started to document her symptoms on-camera. The footage became part of her long-standing struggle with what would eventually be diagnosed as myalgic encephalomyelitis, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome. The film is both a chronicle of how the illness devastates lives (as Brea puts it, it was as if she died but was forced to watch the world move on) and a cold-case mystery.

      Brea and several others are shown perpetually striving to figure out how to cope with the puzzling condition while fighting for progress in a medical system that has a long history of misdiagnosing and overlooking the misunderstood condition. Hope, however, shines through the darkness in the end.