New to DVD/VOD this week:
SKIN DEEP: THE BATTLE OVER MORGELLONS
Awareness Film Fest 2019
An investigation into a mysterious and contested skin condition.
Morgellons is characterized by skin irritation, the feeling of things creeping beneath the skin, and sores that often are said to be accompanied by the growth of strange, sometimes colorful fibers. It’s also a condition that is typically self-diagnosed after online searches, and has had very little support from the medical establishment, which generally has concluded that it is a form of delusional parasitosis without a physiological etiology. In his fairly conventionally constructed film, which includes superfluous reenactments and tangential personalia, director Pi Ware profiles several individuals who suffer from Morgellons, as well as their advocates, resulting in a project that largely seems sympathetic with their perspective, while also giving some space to physicians who subscribe to the psychiatric explanation of the condition. While it’s a worthwhile question as to what the underlying causes are for Morgellons, this focus on its origins/”realness,” and the distrust and hostility that emerges because of it – as demonstrated by a frustrated sufferer screaming at a doctor at a small Morgellons conference towards the end of the doc – misses the bigger point, too briefly addressed here: Ultimately, regardless of whether or not Morgellons has a biological component, the suffering is real and worthy of being addressed and not dismissed.