The Pain of Others

  • Normal Appearances
  • We are the Littletons


Roxie Theatre Sat, Jun 2, 2018 5:01 PM
Film Info
Director:Penny Lane
Film Category:Vanguard Award
Running Time:71 min.
Year of Release:2018
Premiere:West Coast Premiere


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.  It all adds up to a chilling deep dive into mass hysteria in the internet age.


Followed by a moderated discussion between Lane and film critic Michael Fox, and a hosted reception.


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

Co-presented by ODDBALL FILMS

Included Shorts

Normal Appearances (5min) More
We are the Littletons (10min) More