Unrest is a documentary film about ME/CFS that premiered in January 2017 at the Sundance Film Festival. Jennifer Brea, a patient herfself, directed filming from her sickbed using video conferencing tools. The film was primarily funded through a Kickstarter campaign which raised $212,962.
The film's previous working title was Canary in a Coal Mine.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also known as Oscars announced on 7 December 2017 that Unrest was shortlisted as one of 15 films from the original 170 films nominated and advanced for voting for the 90th academy awards.
Awards and fellowships[edit | edit source]
- 2013 Paley Center DocPitch
- 2014 Sundance DFP Grant
- 2014 Chicken & Egg Grant
- 2014 Harnisch Foundation Grant
- 2015 Sundance DFP Fellowship
- 2015 Good Pitch New York
- 2015 IFP Spotlight on Documentaries
- 2016 Fledgling Fund Audience Engagement Fellowship
- 2016 IFP Documentary Lab
- 2016 Tribeca Film Institute Network Market
- 2016 Sheffield Doc/Fest MeetMarket and Alternate Realities
- 2016 Firelight Media Lab
- 2016 Sundance Edit & Story Lab
- 2017 Sundance Film Festival US Documentary Competition
Continuing education credit[edit | edit source]
Notable people[edit | edit source]
- Jennifer Brea (Director/Producer, screenwriter)
- Deborah Hoffmann (Executive Producer & Creative Advisor)
- Lindsey Dryden (Producer)
- Patricia Gillespie (Producer)
- Alysa Nahmias (Co-Producer)
- Kim Roberts (Editor and screenwriter)
- Emiliano Battista (Editor)
- Sam Heesen, Christian Laursen (Director of photography)
- Bear McCreary (Composer)
A list of all those involved in the film has been published.
List of media articles[edit | edit source]
- 2013, ABC News 'Canary In a Coal Mine' Examines Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Jan 3, 2014, Al Jazeera America Chronic fatigue syndrome activists launch 'uprising' from their beds
- Aug 25, 2014, ProHealth Interview: Jennifer Brea Talks About Obstacles, Adjustments, and Inspiration
- 2017, New Zealand International Film Festival 'Unrest' 2017
- 2017, Tribeca Film Festival Virtual Arcade 'Unrest'
- 2017, The Loft Unrest
- Jan 27, 2017 Indie Wire ‘Unrest’ Review: A Personal Look at Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, With Powerful Results — Sundance 2017
- Feb 1, 2017, Women and Hollywood' Jennifer Brea’s Sundance Winner “Unrest” Acquired by PBS
- Feb 15, 2017, Huffington Post Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Diagnostic Tests, Treatment And Prevention Urgently Needed
- Mar 16, 2017, Austin 360 'SXSW Film: “Unrest” examines pain-riddled life with chronic fatigue'
- Mar 17, 2017, Information, Denmark 'Optagelser at ef liv med kronisk traethedssyndrom'
- Mar 17, 2017, Politiken, Denmark 'Ny film om kronisk trætte: Deres celler er syge – læger og venner siger, de bare skal tage sig sammen'
- Apr 27, 2017, The Star Unrest documents a little understood disease: Hot Docs
- Aug 14, 2017 From the Heart Productions Unrest: The Hero’s Journey of Jennifer Brea
- Sep 5, 2017, SBS, Australia, Unrest' explores the hidden world Chronic Fatigue Syndrome'
- Sep 14, 2017 Refinery 29 'What It's Really Like To Live With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome'
- Sep 20, 2017, Chicago Now Hit with sudden disability, Jen Brea created “Unrest,” won at Sundance and is changing the world.
- Sep 20, 2017, The Mighty Jennifer Brea Directs and Films 'Unrest,' a Documentary About Her Chronic Fatigue Syndrome '
- Sep 21, 2017 San Francisco Chronicle Documenting a disease from the inside
- Sep 22, 2017 WYNC Documentary of the Week: 'Battling a Mysterious Illness' podcast
- Sep 23, 2017, Film Music Magazine September Soundtrack Picks
- Sep 23, 2017 the FRAME Unrest' filmmaker was determined to document her pain' podcast
- Sep 25, 2017 New York Post When your in constant pain and nobody believes you
- Sep 27, 2017 KCRW podcast Unrest offers a personal experience of chronic pain
- Sep 28, 2017, SF Gate ‘Unrest’ an unflinching look at chronic fatigue syndrome by a sufferer
- Sep 28, 2017, PBS Travis Smiley Interview with Director Jennifer Brea and Professor Omar Wasow
- Sep 28, 2017, Today with Megan Kelly 'Filmmaker opens up about illness that doctors told her was ‘all in her head’'
- Sep 29, 2017, Deadline ‘Unrest’ Doc About Chronic Fatigue Making Sure Homebound Audience Has Virtual Access
- Sep 29, 2017, Los Angeles Times' Director Jennifer Brea exposes the personal pain of an immune disorder in the documentary 'Unrest'
- Oct 1, 2017, Chicago Tribune 'Unrest' puts spotlight on disease that affects millions, including Riverside girl, 12
- Oct 4, 2017, Cosmopolitan Millions of Women Suffer From a Disease That Virtually Sucks the Life Out of Them — But Doctors Still Don’t Take It Seriously
- Oct 4, 2017, British Medical Association Unrest tells the stories of those living with ME; it raises important issues for the medical community
- Oct 6, 2017 Science Friday podcast 'Once Dismissed And Hidden, Chronic Fatigue Patients Speak Up'
- Oct 16, 2017 The Upcoming Unrest
- Oct 18, 2017 The Times 'Our lives were frozen by chronic fatigue syndrome' (also features the NICE guidelines)
- Oct 18, 2017 ITV Lunchtime News Short clip on ITV Facebook Short clip on ITV Twitter Full Interview on YouTube (available to watch online)
- Oct 18, 2017 Cosmopolitan UK 'What it’s like to live with an incurable illness no-one believes is real'
- Oct 19, 2017 Channel 5, UK, News (available to watch online)
- Oct 19, 2017 BBC World Service, Click 'Tech helps film-maker with ME direct from bed'
- Oct 20, 2017 Spectator 'Film reviews: Unrest'
- Oct 21, 2017, BBC Radio Bristol l Unrest Interview
- Oct 23, 2017, BBC World News BBC World News Interview (available to watch online)
- Oct 23, 2017, Daily Express 'THIS mysterious condition affects millions more than MS - but you probably don't know it'
- Oct 23, 2017 Salon '“Maybe this is all in your head”: When doctors don’t believe women'
- Oct 23, 2017, The Pool A new film shows the heartbreaking reality of living with chronic fatigue syndrome
- Oct 24, 2017, The Telegraph 'Could this documentary change the way we perceive chronic fatigue syndrome?' (also features the NICE guidelines)
- Oct 25, 2017, BBC World Service Radio Outlook
- Oct 28, 2017, BBC Breakfast News interview (available to watch online)
- Oct 29, 2017, Paradigm Change Jen Brea’s Award-Winning ME/CFS Film “Unrest” Discusses Mold Avoidance Issues
- Nov 6, 2017 The Mighty What Happened When I Attended A Screening Of ‘Unrest’
- Nov 8, 2017, BBC Ouch Disability ME - The movie and Transcript
- Nov 17, 2017 White House Chronicle by Llewellyn King, A Movie David Goes Against a Goliath of a Disease
- Dec 18, 2017 Dr Oz One Woman’s Unshakeable Exhaustion - Caught on Tape
- Dec 20, 2017, Cosmpolitan Stories Cosmopolitan Readers Were Obsessed With in 2017 No. 8
- Dec 21, 2017, Orlando Sentinel' PBS to air Winter Park filmmaker's 'Unrest' '
- Dec 21, 2017, The Hippocratic Post Unrest – a new film about ME
- Jan 12, 2018, Wall Street Journal 'A Filmmaker’s Personal Look at Chronic Fatigue Syndrome'
- Oct 14, 2018, Valley News Film Gives Voice to Chronic Fatigue Patients Seeking Understanding, Treatment
- 2016-2017, ME York Community Unrest List of Articles
Unrest also led to groundbreaking and unprecedented positive media articles for ME sufferers in the United Kingdom which documented the history, politics and denial of the biomedical evidence for psychosomatic theories and the involvement of insurance companies and psychiatrists in the disease of ME. This information was available on the internet but had not been published in the mainstream media as this had previously been impossible due to the power and influence of the biopsychosocial psychiatrists and Science Media Centre. On 2 November 2017 the Huffington Post UK reported 'Will The UK Establishment Finally Stop Denying The Reality Of ME?' which in a first examined the injustice faced by ME sufferers due to the British psychiatrists and the largest research trial, the PACE trial. On 7 January 2018, The Independent published 'Time for Unrest: Why patients with ME are demanding justice' which also investigated in-depth the history of the injustice faced by ME sufferers and the involvement of certain psychiatrists and insurance industry and Dr David Tuller's expose of the PACE trial which was also commented on by the film's director. 
Reviews[edit | edit source]
- 2017, LAEMMLE "This is jaw-dropping stuff, made more profoundly disturbing by the fact that so little is known about the disease."
- Jan 26, 2017, The Salt Lake Tribune Sundance review: 'Unrest'
- Jan 23, 2017, No Film School Jennifer Brea Filmed Her Sundance Premiere Without Leaving Bed — And it Saved Her Life
- Jan 23, 2017, Hollywood Reporter' 'Unrest': Film Review | Sundance 2017
- Jan 23, 2017, Bleedingcool Sundance 2017: ‘Unrest’ Is An Emotional Look At Human Strength
- Jan 23, 2017, ’ Variety' Sundance Film Review: ‘Unrest'
- Jan 27, 2017, Indiewire ‘Unrest’ Review: A Personal Look at Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, With Powerful Results — Sundance 2017
- Sep 21, 2017, NY Times Review: ‘Unrest’, a Personal Account of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Oct 19, 2017 The Guardian 'Unrest review – powerful documentary about chronic fatigue syndrome'
- Oct 21, 2017, BBC 5 Live Mark Kermode Review
- Oct 22, 2017, The Observer Unrest review – bracingly inventive and moving
- Nov 14, 2017, Junkee ' It’s Well Past Time For ‘Unrest’, A Game-Changing New Doco About ME/CFS'
Screenings[edit | edit source]
Unrest has screened in cinemas and film festivals around the world.Unrest has also had special screenings in the UK Houses of Parliament in London where it was shown in the State Rooms by the Speaker of the House of Commons in October 2017 attended by numerous Members of Parliaments. A special screening of the film will also be shown in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh to be attended by MSP's on 30 January 2018.
Online presence[edit | edit source]
See also[edit | edit source]
Learn more[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- "Team". UNREST. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
- Eng, Karen Frances (October 25, 2013). "Illuminating an illness without end: Fellows Friday with Jennifer Brea". TED Blog. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
- Canary in a Coal Mine Kickstarter
- S, Jaime (November 30, 2016). "Jen Brea's 'Unrest' to Debut at Sundance Film Festival - #MEAction". #MEAction. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
- "2017 Sundance Film Festival: Competition And Next Lineup Announced". www.sundance.org. November 29, 2016. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
- "'18 Sundance Film Festival - Award Winners". www.sundance.org. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
- "Unrest | Filmmaker Documents Struggles with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (M.E.) | Independent Lens | PBS". Independent Lens. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
- Winfrey, Graham (January 31, 2017). "PBS Buys Sundance Medical Mystery Documentary 'Unrest'". IndieWire. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
- "15 DOCUMENTARY FEATURES ADVANCE IN 2017 OSCAR® RACE". Oscars.org | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. December 7, 2017. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
- "Unrest Continuing Medical Education Program". UNREST. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
- "Thread by @jenbrea: ".@_NathalieWright's withering @Independent piece lays bear the gaps in how is viewed on either side of the pond and the vested intere […]" #mecfs #pwme". Retrieved October 14, 2018.
- "Screenings". UNREST. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
- Shepherd, Charles (October 26, 2017). "ME Association review of Unrest in Parliament: "I cannot recall a parliamentary meeting where we have had so much genuine interest in ME/CFS" | 26 October 2017". The ME Association. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
- "Scottish Parliament to host screening of Unrest – Invite your MSP to attend | 17 January 2018". The ME Association. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
somatic symptom disorder A psychiatric term to describe an alleged condition whereby a person's thoughts somehow cause physical symptoms. The actual existence of such a condition is highly controversial, due to a lack of scientific evidence. It is related to other psychiatric terms, such as "psychosomatic", "neurasthenia", and "hysteria". Older terms include "somatization", "somatoform disorder", and "conversion disorder". Such terms refer to a scientifically-unsupported theory that claims that a wide range of physical symptoms can be created by the human mind, a theory which has been criticized as "mind over matter" parapsychology, a pseudoscience. Although "Somatic Symptom Disorder" is the term used by DSM-5, the term "Bodily Distress Disorder" has been proposed for ICD-11. (Learn more: www.psychologytoday.com)
myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) - A disease often marked by neurological symptoms, but fatigue is sometimes a symptom as well. Some diagnostic criteria distinguish it from chronic fatigue syndrome, while other diagnostic criteria consider it to be a synonym for chronic fatigue syndrome. A defining characteristic of ME is post-exertional malaise (PEM), or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), which is a notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small exertions. PEM can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain (myalgia), trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, among others. An estimated 25% of those suffering from ME are housebound or bedbound. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ME as a neurological disease.