Unrest: Jennifer Brea Personal Docu about Diseases Doctors Can’t Diagnose

World Premiering at the 2017 Sundance Competition Documentary, Unrest, directed by Jennifer Brea, screens this Friday, January 20, at The Temple Theater.

An insightful and inspiring TED TALK launched yesterday sharing Jennifer Brea’s experience, entitled “What happens when you have a disease doctors can’t diagnose.”  It has already gained nearly 100,000 views in less than 24 hours.

Jennifer Brea was a Harvard PhD student about to marry the love of her life when she’s struck down by a fever that leaves her bedridden. Months before her wedding, she becomes progressively more ill, eventually losing the ability even to sit in a wheelchair. When doctors tell her it’s “all in her head,” she goes online and finds a hidden world of millions confined to their homes and bedrooms by ME, commonly called chronic fatigue syndrome.

Unrest  tells the story of Jennifer and her husband, Omar, newlyweds grappling with how to live in the face of a lifelong illness. In search of answers and initially bedbound, Jennifer sets off on a virtual voyage around the world, meeting four extraordinary ME patients in the US, UK, and Denmark. Their bedrooms connected by Skype and Facebook, these patients teach Jen how to make a life of meaning when everything changes.

A first-person story of resilience in the face of life-altering loss, Unrest explores how we treat people with illnesses we don’t yet understand — how confronting the fragility of life teaches us its value and, ultimately, how we all have the need to find community and connection.  


Directed by Jennifer Brea

Produced by Jennifer Brea, Lindsey Dryden and Patricia E. Gillespie

Co-Producers – Alysa Nahmias, Anne Troldtoft Hjorth

Executive Producer & Creative Advisor – Deborah Hoffmann

Executive Producers – Ruth Ann Harnisch, Lisa Gunn, Donna Fairman Wilson, Dan Cogan,

Ian Darling, Regina K. Scully, Lynda Weinman

Running time: 97 minutes