Under Our Skin Raises Alarm on Lyme Disease


Under Our Skin
Directed by Andy Abrahams Wilson
Open Eye Pictures and Shadow Distribution
Opens June 19, IFC Center

Under Our Skin, like most activist documentaries, isn't content to merely make its case and get out of the room. It has to convince us we're looking at The Greatest Threat to Civilization of Our Time. [Editor's note: See The End of the Line] Lyme disease, we're told, is the next AIDS, while ominous shadows darken maps of the globe. All that aside, Andy Abrahams Wilson builds a decent, if stylistically dull, case that Lyme disease is far deadlier and more neurologically debilitating than most doctors want to admit, and that the medical boards that should be researching cures and saving people are colluding with insurance companies to deny treatment. (Doctors who treat Lyme disease can be called on the carpet in front of their state medical boards; complaints are filed not by patients but by HMOs angry about paying up.) Wilson's cross-section of victims are willing to look wretched and exposed on camera to hammer their point home. In synopsizing what it's like to have the disease, Wilson builds a portrait of something reminiscent of Safe, only scarier: symptoms that may or may not exist, denied by those supposed to treat them, and used by insurance companies to batter doctors. Bring on the public health care.


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