THE PAIN OF OTHERS is a found footage documentary about Morgellons, a mysterious illness whose sufferers have parasites under the skin, long colored fibers emerging from lesions, and a host of other bizarre symptoms that could be borrowed from a horror film. Tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, currently say they have it. But the mainstream medical community says Morgellons is not a disease, but a delusion, propagated and reinforced by social media. “It’s all in your head,” they say.
Morgellons sufferers don’t understand what is happening to them; but whatever it is, it is very real. THE PAIN OF OTHERS is composed entirely of videos shared by a small group of “Morgies” who have turned to YouTube after feeling abandoned by their doctors. Intimate and unflinching, disturbing and funny – THE PAIN OF OTHERS is most of all, as its title suggest, an act of radical empathy. It asks the question: when suffering has no explanation, what rushes to fill the void?
"The abysses of agony into which all three women are plunged are matched by the women’s desperate desire to communicate—and to represent themselves. Lane, far from merely compiling these videos, seems to be watching and experiencing them as if in real time, along with the viewer." –Richard Brody, The New Yorker
"The movie’s unadorned quality makes it genuinely harrowing." –Glenny Kenny ,The New York Times
"Unflinching . . . It makes you uncomfortable and aware of your privileged position as an observer, which may be a first step to empathy." –Peter Keough, The Boston Globe