2017 Milwaukee Film Festival: Unrest
By Livia Peterson
If you’ve seen Jennifer Brea’s heartbreaking TED Talk, her film “Unrest” will literally punch you in the gut. Ms. Brea was suddenly stricken with several mysterious illnesses and eventually discovers an online community that possesses her same symptoms, known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). ME is one of the least funded medical diseases and therefore, medical doctors misdiagnose it as hysteria or conversion disorder. “Unrest” frequently presents raw footage and yes, it is difficult to watch. One may want to cry from start to finish, especially if connected to someone with ME. The different perspectives allow breadth and sympathy. In what could’ve been a shallow account of a barely recognized disease, Brea digs under one’s skin and allows pondering following the credits. “Unrest” is eye opening, tragic, and brilliant all at the same time. Highly recommend watching the TED Talk prior to screening “Unrest”. B+
“Unrest” will screen on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 (6pm, the Oriental Theatre) and Friday, October 6, 2017 (3:30pm, the Times Cinema) in addition today’s screening at the Downer Theatre during the 2017 Milwaukee Film Festival. For tickets, please visit mkefilm.org.