Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 2017
Country: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 97 minutes


Jennifer Brea was completing her Ph.D. at Harvard University when an unexplained fever of 104 degrees triggered a spiral into profound weakness and cognitive impairment. Soon she was bedridden, and nobody could help or diagnose her. So she began documenting her struggle. It was discovered she had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a disease derided as nonexistent or the Yuppie Flu by a sometimes fumbling medical community. Jennifer and her fiercely loyal husband Omar do not fumble. From her bed Jennifer began to organize and film a global network of fellow CFS patients. These brave and wonderful individuals challenge a world of misconception, incompetent research, and public stigma. They put a human face on a still baffling illness and attempt to light fires under doctors who long thought this was all just in their heads and hysteria. UNREST follows Jennifer and her international network as they offer support and raise awareness through education and visibility. Hers is an amazing project we cheer along to as it evolves from heartbreaking to heroic. —C.R.

CIFF41 Screenings

Wednesday, April 05, 2017 at 11:50 AM

Thursday, April 06, 2017 at 4:25 PM

Recommended for High School Students +

Reel Women Direct Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman
Global Health Competition

Jennifer Brea, Kim Roberts

Jennifer Brea

Jennifer Brea is an independent documentary filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She has an A.B. from Princeton University and was a Ph.D. student at Harvard University when her illness struck. She is a Sundance Fellow and has been supported by Sundance's Documentary Edit and Story Labs.

UNREST (2017)

Jennifer Brea, Lindsey Dryden, Patricia E. Gillespie, Alysa Nahmias

Sam Heesen, Christian Laursen

Kim Roberts, Emiliano Battista

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