Independent Lens "Unrest"

Independent Lens "Unrest"

Wed, 03/03/2021 - 8:30pm - 10:00pm

Disbelieved by doctors, Jennifer Brea turns the camera on herself to reveal the hidden world of ME.

Credit: Courtesy of Jason Frank Rothenberg

Follow filmmaker Jennifer Brea’s struggle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and meet others coping with this often-devastating and little-understood condition in this intimate documentary.

Filmmaker Jennifer Brea was a Harvard Ph.D. student soon to be engaged when she was struck down by a mysterious fever that left her bedridden. As her illness progressed she lost even the ability to sit in a wheelchair, yet her doctors insisted it was "all in her head." Unable to convey the seriousness and depth of her symptoms to her doctor, Jennifer began a video diary on her phone that eventually became the powerful and intimate documentary, Unrest airing Wednesday, March 3 at 8:30 p.m. on WXXI-WORLD. 

Repeats Thursday, March 4 at 9:30 a.m. and Saturday, March 6 at 12 p.m. on WXXI-WORLD.

Once Jennifer was diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), she and her new husband, Omar, were left to grapple with how to shape a future together in the face of a lifelong illness. Refusing to accept the limitations of life in bed, Jennifer embarks on an online voyage around the world where she finds a hidden community of millions who have disappeared from their own lives, confined to their homes and bedrooms by ME. Using the internet, Skype, and Facebook, these disparate people connect with each other, finding a much-needed sanctuary of support and understanding.