Unrest

Unrest

Friday, May 12, 2017 - 8:30pm
Saturday, May 13, 2017 - 12:00pm
Audience Sporsors)
Jennifer Brea | 
US |
 2017 | 
97 minutes

On her way to attaining a Harvard PhD, and in a loving relationship with her fiancé Omar Wasow, Jennifer Brea looked like she was on the verge of a happy and fulfilled life. But fate had other plans. When Jennifer started experiencing strange physical symptoms, including a fatigue so profound, she could not even make it across her living room floor, she began to document her situation. A diagnosis of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (still commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), opens up an entirely new world. From her bed, Jennifer uses her computer and social media to make contact with fellow sufferers in order to search for answers. The stories are heartbreaking — young people confined to a life that resembles a living death, failed relationships, and vanished dreams and ambitions. Long misunderstood by the medical system, and often perceived to be a psychological issue, the commonality of symptoms shared by people who have been diagnosed with M.E. indicates that there is something else at work. Made with unflinching honesty, Unrest is as much a memoir of Jennifer and Omar’s life together, as it is a medical mystery. -DW

Unrest doesn’t build toward any great epiphany or offer a singular way forward for people like Brea, though it finds some modicum of hope in its portrait of the 2016 Millions Missing protest, which pushed for greater recognition and support for M.E. patients worldwide. However, the movie delivers a striking degree of emotional authenticity with its home footage, allowing it to become more about its central couple’s resilience than the hardships that tests their bond. By capturing the ongoing romance in her life, Unrest manages to end on a triumphant note — even as it acknowledges that, for Brea and others like her, the battle continues with no end in sight. -INDIEWIRE