Oddly, I am reviewing a disease film!

by Martin Hafer

Grade: A

You Don’t Look Sick is an exceptional documentary about Lupus from Jeda Cacioli, an Australian filmmaker who has relocated to the UK. It’s been making the film festival circuit, which is highly unusual considering that it’s not at all typical of the sorts of movies and short films you’d usually find at these events. This is how I learned about “You Don’t Look Sick.”  And I am bringing you a review of this in the hope of spreading awareness of Lupus–a disease which often has no obvious symptoms.

The film is a 30 minute piece which talks about what Lupus is, how it affects people and how difficult it is since most folks with this debilitating disorder often appear normal when you meet them. But the many symptoms and way it changes your whole life is what you learn about with the film. Now Cacioli could have used experts to lecture the audience with tons of facts and charts, but instead decided very wisely to have people with Lupus talk about the disorder. It makes for an extremely compelling and educational film–the sort of thing you wouldn’t normally watch BUT the sort of thing you really would seek out and feel thankful for if you come down with symptoms of the disease. Overall, the film is extremely well crafted and is obviously a work of love. Cacioli isn’t going to get rich with such a film, though having this available as a resource to sufferers and their friends and family is invaluable. It’s very well made and I sure hope to see more from her.
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When I talked with her about her film recently, my first question, naturally was “why did you pick this topic for your film?”.  Well, it turned out that her sister was diagnosed with Lupus and she and her sister got tired of explaining to folks that she really was sick…even though she looked normal.  So, there was an ulterior motive for making such a picture.  I was also very surprised that Cacioli still doesn’t see herself as a director but more of an actress and she recently relocated from her native Australia to the UK in order to pursue her acting career.  Considering how good her film is, however, I strongly recommend she consider directing other films, as she really did a great job.  Either way, keep an eye out for this talented lady.