SF DocFest 2018: THE PAIN OF OTHERS (Vanguard Award)


Morgellons disease first appeared at the start of this century. It predominantly affects middle-aged white women who all report the same symptoms. Sufferers have a crawling sensation under their skin that causes sores and thin worm-like threads grow out of their skin. Medical science has no explanation for the disease and specialists insist it’s a psychosomatic complaint, labeling it ‘delusional parasitosis’ or even ‘Google-chrondria’. Patients apparently convince themselves of the illness, often after having heard about it on the internet.

In this lyrical found-footage documentary, filmmaker Penny Lane tells the story entirely from excerpts from often emotionally-charged YouTube short films. This increases sympathy for the misunderstood patients, but also shows how the internet can encourage self-diagnosis and how contemporary media usages can lead to mass psychosis.

Directed by Penny Lane. 71 minutes. USA. 2018. West Coast Premiere.

2018 Vanguard Award Winner


PLAYS WITH: We Are The Littletons (10 min, 2004) and Normal Appearances (2018, 5 min) 




SF DocFest 2018: THE PAIN OF OTHERS (Vanguard Award): Upcoming Showtimes