Documentaries About Lyme

In recent years Lymies have made a big push to be present in the media to help raise awareness.

Here are some of these documentaries:

LymeLightLymeLight – Angeli VanLaanen 

LymeLight is a Lyme Disease awareness film that serves as an inspirational story for those who have fought to overcome chronic illness and physical setbacks. It delivers a powerful message of the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle on a daily basis. Angeli VanLaanen is one of the top female freeskiers in the world and a well rounded athlete with expertise in all areas of her sport…LymeLight is a 30 minute documentary film based on Angeli VanLaanen’s battle with Lyme Disease…Angeli’s story of misdiagnosis is all too common due to the lack of knowledge in our society and in the medical community…With the help of the LymeLight Foundation, a nonprofit VanLaanen is a spokesperson for, she will educate kids about Lyme Disease prevention and overcoming hard times.

Capture 666Under Our Skin

In the 1970s, a mysterious and deadly illness began infecting children in a small town in Connecticut. Today it’s a global epidemic.

A real-life thriller, this shocking festival hit exposes the controversy surrounding chronic Lyme disease. Following the stories of individuals fighting for their lives, director Andy Abrahams Wilson reveals with beauty and horror a natural world out of balance and a human nature all too willing to put profits before patients.

The film follows six individuals including major league ball player Ben Petrick who report chronic symptoms, which they attribute to persistent Lyme infection. The majority of the film is devoted to the storyline of these patients and their reported recovery.

The film also focuses on state medical board investigations of Joseph Jemsek and Ray Jones, two physicians who prescribe long-term antibiotics for “chronic” Lyme disease.

 

The Punk SingerThe Punk Singer – A Film About Kathleen Hanna

In the 1990s, Kathleen Hanna burst forth into the public eye as a punk rock musician, “riot grrrl,” and feminist activist. She was lead singer in a group called “Bikini Kill” and later, front woman for another group called “Le Tigre.” She was known for her outspokenness on the topic of sexual violence against women and for what some might call outrageous behavior both on and off stage.

Then, in 2005,  at the peak of her popularity, Hanna stepped away from her music career and dropped out of view. Although she didn’t want to admit it publicly at the time, mysterious health problems made it impossible for her to continue. “I was told by my body I had to stop.” She was incredibly fatigued. She lost her voice, sometimes she lost her breath, she lost the hearing in one ear. At one point, when her speech became slurred as if she were drunk, she thought she’d had a stroke.

Different doctors offered different theories. Lupus. Multiple sclerosis. One emergency room doctor said it was panic attacks, because no one could have as many symptoms as Hanna reported. Hanna would later sum it up like this:  “To be living with something and not knowing what it is—is terrifying.”

As revealed in the new documentary film “The Punk Singer,” Kathleen Hanna eventually found out she had late-stage Lyme disease. With treatment, her health has improved. She has formed a new band called The Julie Ruin, which has recently released an album called “Run Fast.”

I watched “The Punk Singer” recently. It chronicles her musical career from its early days in Olympia, Washington, through the rise of the “riot grrrl” movement (bands who often addressed issues such as rape, abuse, and racism), to The Julie Ruin.The last quarter of the film deals with Hanna’s Lyme-related experiences, and includes interviews with her Lyme doctor and her husband (Adam Horovitz, of the best-selling hip-hop band the Beastie Boys).

It is chilling to hear Hanna recount that after a 2005 tick bite, she was diagnosed with Lyme disease, given the standard treatment of three weeks of antibiotics, and pronounced “cured.” Later, when all those other troublesome symptoms showed up, doctors dismissed Lyme as a possibility, because, after all, that problem had already been resolved.

Although it’s not mentioned by name in The Punk Singer, Hanna credits the Lyme documentary Under Our Skin for getting her on the path to a correct diagnosis. That film was released in 2008. She suffered for three long years–convinced she was dying–before finally finding a doctor able to recognize what she had and offer treatment that helped.

The Punk Singer opened in select cities around the US in November 2013. Check the website for listings of upcoming screenings.

(Written Dorothy Kupcha Leland from Touched By Lyme Blog)

There are also a few documentaries made to expose the truths about Lyme made by larger groups, not individual Lymies:

Under the EightballUnder The Eightball (available for free on youtube)

In 1951 at Fort Detrick, Maryland, construction crews built a hollow metal sphere four stories high. Inside germ weapons were to be exploded, creating mists of infectious aerosols for testing on animals….and people. Employees called it the eight ball. In their eighteen month long journey Grey and Russell travel the country in search of answers and interview top experts in the world of Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases. Under the Eight ball includes live footage, historical documents, original animation and archival military footage. (written by IMDB)

Under Our Skin

Under Our Skin (available for free on youtube)

In the 1970s, a mysterious and deadly illness began infecting children in a small town in Connecticut. Today it’s a global epidemic.

A real-life thriller, this shocking festival hit exposes the controversy surrounding chronic Lyme disease. Following the stories of individuals fighting for their lives, director Andy Abrahams Wilson reveals with beauty and horror a natural world out of balance and a human nature all too willing to put profits before patients.

The film follows six individuals including major league ball player Ben Petrick who report chronic symptoms, which they attribute to persistent Lyme infection. The majority of the film is devoted to the storyline of these patients and their reported recovery.

The film also focuses on state medical board investigations of Joseph Jemsek and Ray Jones, two physicians who prescribe long-term antibiotics for “chronic” Lyme disease. (written by topdocumentaryfilms.com)

Under Our Skin 2: Emergence

Under Our Skin 2: Emergence  (currently only available for purchase on DVD)

In this dramatic follow-up to the widely acclaimed UNDER OUR SKIN, EMERGENCE takes the viewer on a journey from horror to hope. We witness the emerging epidemic of Lyme disease as infection and education spread globally. We watch as the truth emerges about the disease’s persistence and reach, about promising new research, and about medical collusion and conflicts of interest that continue to impede progress. We revisit the characters from UNDER OUR SKIN as they emerge into better health, reclaiming their lives and dignity, and offering hope to the legions now suffering. As Lyme disease explodes, EMERGENCE shines a probing light on the issue and becomes a beacon in the dark. (written by underourskin.com)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *