World premiere for ‘Voices from the Shadows’ – hailed as the most important film about paediatric ME ever made

September 22, 2011

Voices from the Shadows Trailer from Josh on Vimeo.

The world premiere of ‘Voices from the Shadows' – a film hailed by US Professor Lenny Jason as “the most important and significant film on paediatric ME that has ever been produced” – will take place at Christopher B Smith Rafael Film Center 1, home of the California Film Institute, on Saturday, October 8.

The film – which forms part of California's annual Mill Valley Film Festival – has been made by Natalie Boulton, who has a daughter with severe ME, and Josh Biggs. They're both hoping to be there.

The screening starts at 2pm.

Contributors from this side of the Antlantic feature heavily – including Criona Wilson, Kay Gilderdale, Professor Malcolm Hooper, and MEA paediatric adviser Dr Nigel Speight. There’s a meltingly beautiful score by David Poore. After the film, which only runs for 63 minutes, Stanford University virologist Dr Jose Montaya and David Tuller, who often writes on ME/CFS for the ‘New York Times’, will lead a panel discussion on some of the issues raised.

A video will be made of the whole proceedings to show on the film's website:

Natalie Boulton has this to say about ‘Voices from the Shadows':

Hidden away in darkened silent rooms for years and even decades, men, women and children are suffering a vicious injustice. Although shockingly ill, many are disbelieved, blamed, suffer medical neglect and even abuse by the very professionals who should be caring for them.

The isolation imposed by the illness means that the daily reality of these sufferers lives remains invisible. Their courage and determination remain unseen and ignored, as many are too ill to make their voices heard and others live in fear of retaliation. Few doctors are willing to speak out to protect them, since by doing so they risk damage to their careers. It is often left to carers, to partners and parents, to act as advocates.

Biomedical research has been stifled; deliberate misinformation and prejudice are widespread; irrevocable harm is being caused by inappropriate and sometimes enforced ‘treatment’. The situation is getting worse. However, new medical research is bringing hope and highlighting this travesty, but it could be many, many years before change occurs in the UK. Meanwhile, lives are being destroyed and children and young people remain especially vulnerable.

This is a profoundly moving, intimate and disquieting film by two carer/patient advocates – a mother and son. It reveals the enduring love, courage and determination of five sufferers and their families as they struggle for health, acknowledgment and respect.

Tickets to the premiere are now on sale. They can be purchased online HERE

British screenings of the film have been arranged by Invest in ME as follows:

Friday, December 2 in Norwich, Norfolk, at 6.30pm. The film will be introduced by Dr Ian Gibson, former MP for North Norwich. Tickets £10.

Wednesday, December 7 at the British Library, Euston Road, London, at 6pm. Tickets for this event cost £20.

For more information and to apply for tickets, please email

1 thought on “World premiere for ‘Voices from the Shadows’ – hailed as the most important film about paediatric ME ever made”

  1. I have been badly affected by ME for 20 years but I am always moved when I am reminded about those who have suffered, and are suffering even more than I am.

    How can we use this film to best effect? Arrange a showing in Parliament? Let’s project it onto the Palace of Westminster and onto King’s College until they all get the message.

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