Now available to view on Vimeo
“Voices from the Shadows” shows the brave and sometimes heartrending stories of five ME patients and their carers, along with input from Dr Nigel Speight, Prof Leonard Jason and Prof Malcolm Hooper. It was filmed and edited between 2009 and 2011 by the brother and mother of an ME patient in the UK. The film shows the devastating consequences that occur when patients are disbelieved and the illness is misunderstood. Severe and lasting relapse occurs when patients are given inappropriate psychological or behavioural management: management that ignores the severe amplification of symptoms that can be caused by increased physical or mental activity or exposure to stimuli, and by further infections. (See Bristol Watershed event videos)
A belief in behavioural and psychological causes, particularly when ME becomes very severe and chronic, following mismanagement, is still taught to medical students and healthcare professionals in the UK. As a consequence, situations similar to those shown in the film continue to occur.
‘Voices from the Shadows’ received its premiere at the prestigious Mill Valley film festival near San Francisco in 2011, where it won the audience award for favourite international doc. The film has been shown in many countries and in different venues – from parliament buildings to cinemas, universities and homes – from the IACFS/ME conference in Ottawa 20011, to the Stanford ME /CFS Symposium 2014.
The film is in English with subtitles in Swedish, Dutch, Spanish, French, Italian, Czech, German, Japanese and English.
We consider this film to be unsuitable viewing for children and young people with ME.
It can be rented to view online at $3 for a week’s access.
I think the film was powerful and it should be actually part of medical curricula in medical schools in the US… (it) shows how medical arrogance combined with narrow vision knowledge can be so toxic and can bring more suffering to a group of patients that are already suffering at deep levels. Dr Montoya – Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine – Stanford Medical School. Watch here.
Voices from the Shadows is a poignant documentary, which unveils the reality of people with severe ME/CFS and their carers… We hope that this type of initiative helps to promote a revision of preconceptions about ME/CFS in health researchers and professionals, and to bring renewed interest for research in this field, particularly in light of mounting biomedical research evidence in ME/CFS. Dr Eliana Lacerda – CFS/ME Observatory at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
If I could make everyone in the world see just one film, this would be the film I’d choose. It’s my film of the year. It’ll be my film of the decade.
As a critic, I spend my life hoping to find films that will speak to me. “Voices from the Shadows” goes beyond that. It is a film that speaks for me. And I want you to hear it. Scott Jordan Harris Chicago Sun-Times
Voices from the Shadows is the most important and significant film on pediatric ME that has ever been produced – Prof. Leonard Jason Director of the Center for Community Research DePaul University Chicago
The film was born of desperation, made by the mother and brother of a severe ME patient. Contributors to the film have helped and participated by being interviewed, by allowing us to use to their documentary material and by giving feedback and approval at every stage.
News and updates on Voices from the Shadows will be posted on this site and on our facebook page