A Derry man is hoping to raise awareness of the debilitating condition known as ME after he hosted a special screening of an award-winning film which tells the story of one woman’s battle with the misunderstood illness.
‘Unrest’, which premiered and won an award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in the USA, was shown at the Holywell building, Bishop Street, earlier this month
The event was organised by John McDaid whose brother, Paul, has been ill with ME for more than five years.
Sometimes called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, ME is a mystery illness for which there is no known treatment or cure.
John says his brother went from being a healthy, outgoing PhD student to being unable to leave his bed or even talk to his family for the first year of his illness.
“Now, after five years, he is still housebound and has to spend most of the day lying down, able only to have a conversation for limited periods,” says John.
“While there is still no treatment for ME, there is now hope for sufferers with ground-breaking research being carried out in Norway, Australia and the USA.
“The documentary screening took place in the hope of creating an insight into this devastating illness and the cruel twist that it is still not taken seriously by the medical establishment here.”
‘Unrest’ tells the story of Jennifer, herself an active PhD student about to marry the love of her life, whose body suddenly starts failing her.
Hoping to shed light on her strange symptoms, Jennifer grabs a camera and films the darkest moments unfolding before her eyes as she is derailed by ME.
Using Skype and social media, she unlocks a forgotten community with intimate portraits of four other families suffering similarly.
‘Unrest’ has been hailed as a “vulnerable and eloquent personal documentary that is sure to hit closer to home than many could imagine.”
For more information on the film 'Unrest' visit the website www.unrest.film