When Harvard Ph.D. student Jennifer Brea is struck down by a fever that leaves her bedridden, she sets out on a virtual journey to document her story as she fights a disease that medicine forgot.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Herself
Omar Wasow ...
Himself
Jessica l e Taylor ...
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Samuel Bearman ...
Himself
Ruby Taylor ...
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Colin Taylor ...
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Paul Cheney ...
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Lee-Ray Denton ...
Herself
Casie Jackson ...
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Darwin Jackson ...
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Randy Denton ...
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Jessica Harden ...
Herself
Annabel Jackson ...
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Sawyer Jackson ...
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Lee Routh ...
Herself
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Storyline

When Harvard PhD student Jennifer Brea is struck down at 28 by a fever that leaves her bedridden, doctors tell her it's "all in her head." Determined to live, she turns her camera on herself and her community, a hidden world of millions confined to their homes and bedrooms by ME, commonly called chronic fatigue syndrome.

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20 January 2017 (USA)  »

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Canary in a Coal Mine  »

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Blow you out of the water good
31 January 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One of the most compelling documentaries I've ever seen. From moment one ("Princeton Veterinary Hospital") Jen and Omar reel you into the mad, new life Jen's illness has shaped for them. The movie goes beyond educating people about a poorly-understood illness. Instead, it vividly recreates the reality of Jen and the other patients, and it does so with such humor, humanity, and loving-kindness that you feel as though you know all of these people and are deeply invested in their small triumphs. An absolute must for any documentary devotee, and anyone who struggles with chronic illness or is struggling to understand the world of someone who does.

I know this is full of superlatives, but I can't help it. Ugly crying was involved when I saw this story, but it somehow manages to be uplifting instead of despairing. I can't recommend it highly enough.


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