Jennifer, a Harvard PhD student, was signing a check at a restaurant when she found she could not write her own name. Months before her wedding, she became progressively more ill, losing the ability even to sit in a wheelchair. When doctors told her it was "all in her head," she turned her camera on herself and her community, a hidden world of millions confined to their homes bedrooms by ME, commonly called chronic fatigue syndrome.
Unrest is made by an award-winning team and is supported by the Sundance Institute, Chicken & Egg Pictures, the Harnisch Foundation, BRITDOC's Good Pitch, the Tribeca Film Institute, the Fledgling Fund, IFP, and over 2,593 Kickstarter backers. It premiered in the documentary competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, where it won a Special Jury Prize for editing. In the US, it will be broadcast on PBS's Independent Lens in early 2018.
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Unrest VR is an interactive non-fiction experience inspired by Jennifer Brea’s feature documentary Unrest (Sundance 2017 Special Jury Award). An immersive journey into Jen’s experience of an invisible illness, myalgic encephalomyelitis, the project contrasts the painful solitary confinement of a bedroom world with the kinetic freedom of an inner dreamscape. When you’re too sick to leave your bed, where do you go?
Unrest VR will premiere in the Virtual Arcade at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.
What is MYALGIC ENCEPHALOMYELITIS?
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, is a systemic neuroimmune condition characterized by post-exertional malaise (a severe worsening of symptoms after even minimal exertion). It causes dysregulation of both the immune system and the nervous system. The effects of ME are devastating enough to leave 25% of patients housebound or bedbound.