For Jennifer, there are days when she can move around and do thingslike a normal person but usually this causes a lot of fatigue and major seizures with many physical symptoms including severe pain in the head.Jennifer says, "It's like I'm dead and I have to watch." We therefore accompany Jennifer in her moments of fear and doubt throughout the documentary, such as her desire to be a mother, her search for solutions, her medical appointments and her meeting with a specialist, but also the support and pain of her husband who is powerless in the face of the disease. She feels guilty for stealing her life and not having anything to offer her. Jenniferdenounces through this report, the lack of budget for research into thesediseases, and the lack of empathy of people who do not have CFS and think that this is not true. To ensure that this disease is known by all theinternational movement "millions missing" is created for the recognition of chronic fatigue syndrome, linked to ME Action Network. Through the various giant conversations created with Skype, Jennifer hopes to prevent the isolation of sick people and their desire for suicide.
This film in the form of a report was really very moving. Unfortunately, I
could not stay until the end, so I did not hear the testimony.
I had already heard about this disease several times before. But thanks to this film, I was able to learn more.
It is a young woman named Jennifer who films herself at certain times of the
day. she tells us about her illness, and how difficult it is for her to live.
she explains to us, for example, that some days she can do things of daily
life, but that others, she spends her days sleeping. You can see her at a
medical consultation, and you can hear her doctor tell her that she has had
this disease for many years and that she will probably never recover.
she explains that she carries the weight of this disease on a daily basis. she
says it's as if she was almost dead, and that she had to watch herself die.
In this report, we can also see that her husband brings her a lot of love and
that he especially supports her in this disease.
Jennifer communicates a lot with other people with this disability through
videoconferencing. They bring a lot of courage to each other to try to keep a
The movie we watched helped me to understand the seriousness of the chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Indeed, this disease is underestimated because it has no biological symptoms people think that patients are simulating. It was very hard and moving to see the patients who struggle to have a normal life. It concerns not only the patients but also their family and friends. What surprised me a lot was that they lost so many things but they still have hope. And this hope is the only thing which let them survive and face such an emotional and physical pain. The patients are ready to do all the things which can help them to cure. Moreover they are fighting for the recognition of their illness because many doctors thought it is related to their mind and it’s not a physical illness. The fact that the society isn’t able to understand and help them is much painful for them. After the film, the patient’s testimony was very touching and the doctor’s explanation was really clear and helped me to discover new things about this disease and alternatives medicines. He talked about interesting things such as Chinese medicine which consist to link the mind and the body and he underlined the inefficiency of occidental medicine which rejects all the diseases which didn’t match with ordinary algorithms. Also he gave some tips related to lifestyle (food, rest) to handle the illness. It was an eye opening experience. It reveals that health is the most precious thing we have.
Commentary from Faustine Télotte
This film shows the daily life of Jennifer Brea who suffers from CFS Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This documentary film was really poignant. In fact, this film allowed me to measure the chance I have to be in good health. I can imagine through the film how difficult it is for her to live in these conditions. I was astonished to know that this disease affects women in particular and very upset to know that there is still no cure yet… I was very touched by the words of Jeanne who was also deeply moved by the film and I would like to thank her for coming and for saying some words about her personal experience. After the showing of Unrest, a doctor was present and talked about the benefits of Chinese medicine which could be an option to allow ill people to live better with their disease. He also tells the importance to be well supported by family and friends, it could be a way to overcome the weight of illness.
I thought that the film and the testimony were very moving but also
interesting. Indeed, I'd never heard about the EM/CFS. The film learnt us that
this syndrome is almost non-recognized and so many people who suffer of it are not followed like they would deserve. It's because there is no international consensus about the origin of the disease. Some doctors say it is a physical problem, some others say it's a mental problem. But even so, it seems to be a physical (because cerebral) problem.
The film shows us how courageous Jennifer Bréa and the others disabled are, but also their families. So thank you to her, to Jeanne and to the doctor who spoke after the film.
But I think that unfortunately so many other diseases are unknown and not well recognized by the medical community and people in general.
My commentary : Marie-Justine HOSIN
This film is of an unusual kind. What makes it extraordinary is its dimension of reality. We feel the distress of these people, many of whom prefer to deny the existing suffering. What profoundly marked me is this relationship between Jennifer and her husband. I think it's a real plus for a person who suffers so much suffering from having someone at his side who has never doubted the reality of his illness and who is helping him. I am deeply disappointed in the system of research for diseases that do not react, especially after seeing the struggle also led by this researcher whose son has the syndrome to a very high degree. Finally, what I've been most upset about, I think, is that we have put a lot of diseases like this one for hysteria in women. This reveals a completely different problem in history with regard to gender parity once again.
I hope this film will make a difference for these people and that substantial funding will be given for research around this disease. It is not right to have to live like this and to be told that there is no hope for the moment. There is always hope.
"Introducing the movie was a very good idea, I thought it was great! Jennifer is an inspiring person who has such a big courage. She fights not only for her but for every person with chronic fatigue syndrome. I think she is making a real difference, showing her disability to the world, making it visible as it never was before. Her movie made me realize what people with CFS can live. It's both frightening and comforting because we realize that our lives can change overnight, but also that things change, and even if they do not change fast enough, there are still improvements.
I was also really touched by Jeanne's testimony. Being able to be there with us must have been really difficult for her, so she can be very proud of herself!
The presentation of Dr. Nhan Huynh was also interesting, and hopefully he and Jeanne will be able to talk about different methods to improve her daily life."