UNRESTUSA | 2017 | 90 mins | Not Rated | Documentary, Drama
Directed by Jennifer Brea
Tuesday August 29, 2017, 7:30 pm (Film Center)
Martha's Vineyard Film Center
$12 General Admission, $9 Member,
$7 child age 14 or younger
Doors Open for admissions 30 min. prior to screening
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Directed by Jennifer Brea
Director Jennifer Brea and Professor Omar Wasow will join us after the screening for a discussion led by Charlayne Hunter-Gault.
Introduced by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Journalist Jennifer Brea documents her struggle with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. After spiking a 105 degree fever shortly after being accepted to a PhD program at Harvard, Brea manifested a mysterious cluster of symptoms, including extreme weakness, fatigue, full-body pain and mental confusion. After being dismissed by doctors, she discovered a community of patients similarly struggling with the mysterious disorder after making videos from her bed about her situation and posting them online. The documentary includes interviews with Brea, as well as her Skype interviews with other isolated patients who are similarly bedridden and struggling to make sense of how their lives have permanently changed.
Special Guest: Director Jennifer Brea
Jennifer Brea is an independent documentary filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She has an AB from Princeton University and was a PhD student at Harvard until sudden illness left her bedridden. In the aftermath, she rediscovered her first love, film. Her feature documentary, Unrest, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, where it won a Special Jury Prize. She is also co–creator of Unrest VR, winner of the Sheffield Doc/Fest Alternate Realities Award. An activist for invisible disabilities and chronic illness, she co–founded a global advocacy network, #MEAction and is a TED Talker.
Special Guest: Professor Omar Wasow
Omar Wasow is an Assistant Professor in Princeton’s Department of Politics. His research focuses on race and politics. His co-authored work on the challenge of estimating effects of race was published in the Annual Review of Political Science. His research on the political consequences of nonviolent and violent protests has been featured in The Washington Post, The New Yorker and Vox. Before joining the academy, Omar served as a regular on-air technology analyst and was the co-founder of BlackPlanet.com, a social network he helped grow to over three million active users. In 2003, he helped found a high performing K-8 charter school in Brooklyn. He is a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and the Aspen Institute’s Henry Crown Fellowship. He received a PhD in African American studies, an MA in Government and an MA in Statistics from Harvard University.
"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." - Eric Kohn, indieWire
"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." - John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter