Beauty Does Lie
By Courtney G. Smith
Control Your Auto
Although to others they may appear healthy, approximately 15 million Americans are living with chronic, potentially debilitating autoimmune diseases. Most of them — about 75 percent — are women. As a group, autoimmune diseases are among the ten leading causes of death for women 65 and under. This documentary explores the lives of seven African American women who are living with lupus, multiple sclerosis, Sjogrenís syndrome, pernicious anemia, and myasthenia gravis — a disease which also affects the filmmaker herself.
The women describe the physical and emotional difficulties of living with these frequently devastating conditions — including having to deal with the ignorance they encounter from people who doubt that they are really sick. Autoimmune diseases are often overlooked or misdiagnosed even by medical professionals, and several of these women were initially told that their early symptoms were psychological, or due to more benign causes.
Sections of the program deal with the symptoms of these diseases, how they are diagnosed, medications and their side effects, and the ways in which patients cope with their diagnoses. Professional perspectives on these conditions and their particular impact on African Americans are provided by rheumatologist Adrienne Burford Foggs, MD, SC, and Tonya Fuller, MD.
Despite their daily battles with these diseases, with the help of their families and friends, their support groups, and their religious faith, the women in this film live successful and fulfilling lives.
Purchase $225 DVD
Order No. QA-477
ISBN (DVD) 1-57295-903-7
Awards & Conference Screenings
Western Psychological Association
National Health Information, Merit Award
The Clitoris: A close look at that part of the female anatomy that exists purely for pleasure, and how this highly sensitive organ has long been ignored or misunderstood in the medical literature.
Ruth: Ruth endured the disabling physical and mental symptoms of Parkinsonís disease for more than twelve years, until a procedure called Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) enabled her to switch off many of the symptoms that had kept her a prisoner in her own body. A unique opportunity to view the impact of medical technology in action.
Parkinson's: Lynda's Story: Parkinson's disease is robbing Lynda McKenzie of normal coordination and movement. She's prepared to participate in a clinical study of surgery to transplant fetal cells directly into her brain, but she will have to live for a year not knowing whether she has received the actual cells or a placebo.
Multiple: For six years, actor and director Alison Peebles has been keeping a secret: she has multiple sclerosis. Now, in the midst of working on an important TV series, she finds she can no longer hide her symptoms. She's afraid this revelation may destroy her career and she'll also have to kiss goodbye to her sexy, high-heeled shoes.
To rent or purchase this film, please visit the Icarus Films website