Jennifer Brea is a 28-year-old Harvard PhD student about to marry the love of her life when sheís struck down by ME, commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome and precipitated by a high fever that leaves her in so much pain she is barely able to move. When doctors canít diagnose her and tell her that nothingís wrong or itís all in her head, she grabs a camera to film her darkest moments. Eventually, she connects by Skype and Facebook to others in the same situation, all of them striving to make life meaningful in the face of life-altering illness. Subtitles
Unrest is a personal documentary. At first, it was just an iPhone video diary. Then I went online and met thousands of people, all over the world, living the same experience. That is when I decided to make a film. I built a global producing team, hired crews from everywhere, and directed from my bed. There was a point when we had a very strong cut, but I felt unsatisfied with just seeing us, these bodies, from the outside. And so we started bringing in these elements of personal narration, visuals, and sound design to try to give the audience glimpses of our dreams, our memories. It was important to me to convey that regardless of our profound disabilities, we are all still fully human. That even lying in bed, we have these complex, inner lives.
Directorís Statement: Jennifer Brea