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Under Our Skin

Well-researched investigative docu "Under Our Skin" examines schisms surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease, a near-epidemic in the U.S.

With:
With: Mandy Hughes, Sean Cobb, Dana Walsh, Jordan Fisher-Smith, Marlena Connors, Elise Brady-Moe, Ben Petrick, Dr. Alan MacDonald, Kris Newby, Dr. Joseph Jemsek, Dr. Charles Ray Jones, Dr. Gary Wormser, Dr. Eugene Shapiro.

Well-researched investigative docu “Under Our Skin” examines schisms surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease, a near-epidemic in the U.S. Like Michael Moore’s “Sicko,” it reveals a controversial connection between conventional protocols, private patents, managed care and insurance companies that restrict consumer choice with huge consequences for patient care. Producer-director-writer Andy Abrahams Wilson (“Bubbeh Lee and Me”) takes a creative, humanistic approach that makes the complex material dramatic and visually interesting. A natural for domestic cable, informative pic should have a long shelf life.

Mixing interviews and archival footage, pic creates a suspenseful dramatic arc by following six chronic Lyme-disease patients and a small group of “Lyme-literate” physicians as they struggle for their lives and livelihoods. Hard science and statistics are made memorably clear through clever animation. Instead of chapter headings, a chorus of artfully shot talking heads introduces topics such as symptoms, misdiagnoses and problems finding a doctor. Although it sides with those advocating unconventional treatments, pic gives gatekeepers from Infectious Diseases of America their say. Inclusion of pathologist Alan MacDonald’s recent discovery linking the Lyme infection to microbial biofilms signals new hope for chronic suffers.

Under Our Skin

Production: An Open Eye Pictures production. (International sales: Submarine Entertainment, New York.) Produced by Andy Abrahams Wilson. Executive producer, the Swartz Foundation. Senior producer, Kris Newby. Co-producers, Cheryl Drake, Eve Morgernstern. Directed, written by Andy Abrahams Wilson.

Crew: Camera (color, video), Wilson; editor, Eva Ilona Brzeski; music, Justin Melland. Reviewed at Tribeca Film Festival (Discovery), April 28, 2008. Running time: 104 MIN.

With: With: Mandy Hughes, Sean Cobb, Dana Walsh, Jordan Fisher-Smith, Marlena Connors, Elise Brady-Moe, Ben Petrick, Dr. Alan MacDonald, Kris Newby, Dr. Joseph Jemsek, Dr. Charles Ray Jones, Dr. Gary Wormser, Dr. Eugene Shapiro.

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