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September 29–October 5, 2017

Chicago Premiere


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Film still: Unrest Film still: Unrest Film still: Unrest


Special Jury Prize
Sundance Film Fest
"A film that's remarkably intimate, deeply edifying and a stirring call to action"
  —Los Angeles Times
"Jennifer Brea's stirring documentary Unrest goes a long way toward explaining the nature of [Chronic Fatigue Syndrome] and the devastating impact it can have on family life, deriving much of its power from her own encounter with it"
"It powerfully insists on giving a voice to victims whose greatest challenge, apart from their symptoms, is surmounting a world of indifference"
  —New York Times
"Consistently involving, with content diverse enough to avoid the tunnel-visioned pitfalls of diarist cinema"
"Unrest is a documentary that serves a vital function"

Jennifer Brea is an active Harvard PhD student about to marry the love of her life when suddenly her body starts failing her. Hoping to shed light on her strange symptoms, Jennifer grabs a camera and films the darkest moments unfolding before her eyes as she is derailed by M.E. (commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), a mysterious illness some still believe is "all in your head."

In this story of love and loss, newlyweds Jennifer and Omar search for answers as they face unexpected obstacles for a condition is unrecognized by many as a disease, and patients are mostly forced to live at home vainly waiting for a cure. Often confined by her illness to the private space of her bed, Jen is moved to connect with others around the globe. Utilizing Skype, she unlocks a forgotten community with intimate portraits of four other families suffering similarly.

Jennifer Brea's wonderfully honest portrayal asks us to rethink the stigma around an illness that affects millions of people as her unwavering hope and force of will is truly inspiring. Unrest is a vulnerable and eloquent personal documentary that is sure to hit closer to home than many could imagine.

Directed by Jennifer Brea, U.S.A., 2017, 97 mins.

Facets Film Dialogue

Leonard Jason, Ph.D, DePaul University Center for Community Research; Amy Mooney, a Chicago mother whose 12-year-old daughter suļ¬€ers from ME/CFS; Ceil Rothbart, ME/CFS patient and advocate, will be here for a Q&A on Sunday, October 1 following the 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. screenings.

Omar Wasow, Professor in Princeton's Department of Politics, and the husband of Jen Brea, director of Unrest, will be here for a Q&A after the screenings on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 3 and 4.


  • Fri., Sept. 29 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., Sept. 30 at 1, 3, 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., Oct. 1 at 1, 3, 5 & 7 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Oct. 2–5 at 7 & 9 pm
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