Reviewed bykatherinemchVote: 10/10/10
There were so many times during this film that I cried. It's not justabout Brea and her husband; there are several other ME/CFS patients youget familiar with, all unique and relateable people. You get to see thevariety of ME life. Not just who they are now but who they used to bewhen they were free to design their life as they wanted.
It's never directly stated but the contrast of old home movies of thepatients and voiceovers about scepticism... clearly these people werehappy & driven before they got sick. They don't look like people whowere headed to a nervous breakdown or other hypochondria. They seem tobe energetic, driven, happy people. The idea that ME is a psychosomaticissue is shown to be nonsense.
As a spoonie I laughed to recognize a dozen or so "miracle cures" Breatries that I've tried too. Awkward moments she had that I've had too(and felt like I was the only weirdo on earth to go through it). Foranyone with chronic illness it's a validating movie, seeing that we'renot alone.
I think this movie would be a great way for someone who is acquaintedwith a spoonie but not close enough to them to see their 24/7 life.Cousins, coworkers, classmates... this could help them understand. Ithink it would be a great addition to any class on disabilitydiscrimination, like to teach medical professionals or social workersto put themselves in the shoes of a sick person.
Brea and her guy are a very sweet couple, heartwarmingly devoted. Andthey're very educated & charming & good looking. It's easy to watchthem discuss their life. The message of the film may be a downer butthese folks and their friends are so lovable it's actually mostlypleasant to spend the time "with" them. Please don't avoid this moviebecause you think it will be depressing. It's a fascinating andexciting show, packed with information and very intimate moments. WhatI was left with was respect for the disabled, desire to see justice forthose abandoned by the healthcare system (the research budget for ME isridiculously small compared to other less life-ruining illnesses!!)...I feel stronger and more motivated to be a good citizen, after watchingthis. Not depressed, inspired.
Reviewed bytrishhughesVote: 10/10/10
I am one of the millions missing, but one who is not bedridden, and Ican still work, though at a much diminished capacity. Jennifer'sattempt to describe her life and her illness is much needed. I was intears as she described the difficulty of getting a diagnosis. When Igot sick 25 years ago, it took me 6 years to be diagnosed. I was hopingthat diagnosis was a little further along than it apparently is in themedical community. That was a major disappointment for me. I wish shehad talked more about the cognitive issues. Yes, ME is physical, butthe brain fog, the inability to concentrate or stay on task, thedisorganization that came with the condition, the struggle to performcognitive tasks that were once easy (reading maps, remembering how toget somewhere you should be able to, forgetting appointments,short-term memory problems, etc. etc), all add another layer to anotherwise debilitating condition. My accolades for Jennifer for thesupernatural strength and commitment it required to put together agreat snapshot of our shared nightmares.
When Harvard PhD student Jennifer Brea is struck down at 28 by a fever that leaves her bedridden, doctors tell her it's "all in her head." Determined to live, she turns her camera on herself and her community, a hidden world of millions confined to their homes and bedrooms by ME, commonly called chronic fatigue syndrome.