Sundance award-winning “Unrest” heads to Regent Theatre

Nov 10, 2017

By Abbi Matheson
Posted Nov 9, 2017 at 5:59 AM

For Rivka Solomon and Jennifer Brea, everyday activities can often leave them bedridden for weeks, even months. Solomon and Brea have myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). Often referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome, the neuroimmune disease can leave people bedridden or home-bound for long periods of time.

Brea created the film “Unrest” after she got sick at the age of 28 and was left confined to her bed. Doctors did not believe her story, telling her it was all in her head. To prove to them just how sick she was, she started filming herself, which is how “Unrest” begins. But Brea knew she had to make the story broader than just herself.

She started talking to other people with ME, using the power of the internet to interview them from her home. Solomon, from the Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association, noted that there are an estimated 1 to 2.5 million people in the United States with ME and 17 to 20 million across the globe.

“Unrest” is screening at the Regent Theatre in Arlington on Sunday, Nov. 12 from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The film, which won a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival for editing, is now up for Oscar consideration.

The event is co-sponsored by two local organizations; the Old Schwamb Mill and the Arlington Commission on Disabilities. Susin James, a commission member, said she always felt strongly about advocating for people with different types of disabilities, diseases and disorders.