Voices from the Shadows

Introductory video

Watch the Introduction to the film here. The introduction can be watched on youtube with subtitles...


Watch online

The film is available to watch on MUBI. For most of the world it can be watched ‘on...


Trailer video

The first trailer for ‘Voices from the Shadows’ released with our announcement of the...


This 30 min version was screened at the Stanford University ME/CFS Symposium in 2014 and at the Exercise and ME/CFS event with a talk by Prof Mark VanNess, in Bristol 



New dvd cover front

The original 1 hour  film is available to view free of charge on Vimeo 

To go to Vimeo click here  and enter the promo code VOICES

DVDs are not currently available to buy.

Please remember this film is not suitable for children and young people with ME who may be distressed by viewing it. It is intended to educate those who are not familiar with the illness and issues surrounding it.

The film is in English with subtitles in Swedish, Dutch, Spanish, French, Italian, Czech, German, Japanese and English.

“The reach of this riveting film has been extraordinary, and it has significantly influenced the debate on seriously ill youth with ME. This moving documentary has been like a shot heard around the world as it has precipitated an increasing awareness of the severely ill and highlighted the prejudice against patients and the unwitting but pernicious harm done by too many health care professionals.” 
Professor Leonard Jason, Director of the Center for Community Research


“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 reality of this physical illness and the severe relapse or exacerbation of symptoms that can be caused by increased physical or mental activity, over 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 very  similar to those shown in the film are taking place right now, both in the UK and in other countries.

‘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 original “Trailer” can be watched  here on Youtube or here under the About the film pages on Vimeo.

Watch the “Introduction” to the film – the first 4 mins – in English here  – or with subtitles in  GermanSwedishDutchItalianFrenchSpanishCzech or Japanese on Youtube.


mill valley

 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 SchoolWatch 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


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