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September 17, 2017

Chicago Premiere

The Sensitives

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Film still: The Sensitives


One screening only!

"An affecting and sympathetic portrait of survival"
  —Hollywood Reporter
"[The] narrative arcs are compellingly shaped while still seeming honest, natural, and intimate"
  —The Verge

For the increasing number of people who are suffering from environmental illnesses, the modern world is full of unseen threats. Many things, such as pesticides, perfumes, cell phones, et alia, are triggers which can send a "sensitive" into a debilitating downward spiral.

The Sensitives, which is a more meditative take on the subject of an this inexplicable allergy to electromagnetic fields or synthetic chemicals, documents three families struggling with these issues. Joe, a patriarch whose affliction is so all-encompassing that he is indifferent to his long-suffering wife; twin brothers Sam and Nathan, are musicians who are no longer able to breathe outside of their real-life sterile "plastic bubble," and whose mother, Karen, developed her illness when she was only 17. These characters all suffer from items that are taken for granted as part of modern society. The cause is not clear, but the reality of the effects on these individuals is undeniable. And Susie Molloy, who decamped from society for a remote desert homestead decades ago, has finally found relief but contemplates leaving her environment to advocate for those people afflicted by this modern malady with a mission to de-stigmatize this community.

Shot over a three year period, The Sensitives captures the hope and humanity about ordinary people driven to the fringes because of a very misunderstood condition.

Directed by Drew Xanthopoulos, U. S. A., 2017, 83 mins.


  • Sunday, Sept. 17 at 4 p.m.
Buy tickets


$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation