Jennifer Brea is 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.
Unrest is a first-person story of resilience in the face of life-altering loss, exploring 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.
Winner, U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award Editing, Sundance Film Festival
SXSW Film Festival
Jennifer Brea is a filmmaker, writer, and data wrangler. She was a PhD candidate in the Department of Government at Harvard University, studying political economy and statistics, before getting sick. She earned her AB in Politics from Princeton University, and is a TED Fellow. Prior, she was a freelance journalist in China and East and Southern Africa. Jen was born in Long Island, New York, raised in Central Florida, and now divides her time between New Jersey and California. She is married to Omar Wasow, co-founder of BlackPlanet and a professor at Princeton.