Saturday, 30 May 2020
Toronto, Ontario filmmakers Tina Petrova and Eugene Weis are proud to debut their new documentary. This 80-minute film chronicles how patients and doctors have been blamed, shamed, and persecuted in a misguided attempt to fight the “opioid crisis.” It also addresses the very real issue of all hope lost and suicide - which had occurred during filming.
I have come to know Tina casually, through email correspondence over the past year or so and she has quite a story of her own. She suffers terribly from nerve damage and has often been bed-ridden. In 2014, she spearheaded a non-profit patient advocacy group with a desire to give a voice to intractable pain patients: Give Pain A Voice. She felt at that time that pain as an illness was not being given any news time. “As a filmmaker and chronic pain patient, I realized that having a visual representation of our stories was much more powerful than a news article because a film has such longevity and remains relevant for decades after it’s made. It also has the capacity to be very emotional and moving and create a lasting impression in the viewers mind.”
I wondered to myself if her project uncovered any surprises. Indeed it did. “While making the film I learned about dozens of chronic pain conditions I had never even heard of. All of these invisible people suffering, with almost no one to care about their illness and their well-being... it was a huge wake up call for me,” exclaims Tina. She would like to see the film screened at medical schools, for emergency room staff, universities, and of course pain groups all over the world. This would include patients with diverse illnesses and importantly, their families and caregivers who often do not believe the person is in pain. I’d like to add that there are far too many doctors out there who do not believe it either or, under today’s climate of hype, hysteria, and misinformation, believe that pain patients are simply drug-seeking or suffering from substance use disorder.
The filmmaker’s aim is for viewers to take away a deeper, more comprehensive and compassionate understanding of the complex issues faced by chronic pain patients. “I’d like the viewing audience to see the film as a wake-up call, as I did, and a call to action to better support this invisible community through funding for research and community initiatives to support both individuals and groups to be heard, seen and believed.”
This documentary is dedicated to Sherri Little, a California woman who tragically took her life at the age of 53 after a last desperate attempt to get treatment for severe and long-standing fibromyalgia and colitis pain. Sherri was a good friend of Tina, as both shared an understanding of the real challenges faced by chronic pain patients.
Pain Warriors was made available May 26th on DVD , iTunes, Google Play and Amazon Prime in the US.
The trailer to the film:
Wednesday, 27 May 2020
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