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Special Topic:

April 15, 2024

with Special Guests 

Andrew Abrahams ( Director of film, "Complicated," President of Open Eye Pictures) 

You can stream FREE episodes on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and YouTube

Andrew Abrahams
(Director of film "Complicated," and President of Open Eye Pictures)

President of Open Eye Pictures, Andrew is an award-winning producer/director of creative non-fiction films. He studied at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism and USC's School of Cinema, and received a master's degree in Visual Anthropology. His approach emphasizes visual imagery as a way to bridge disparate parts, peoples and ideas. Andrew’s films include AMERICAN JUSTICE ON TRIAL: PEOPLE V. NEWTON, Oscar shortlisted and winner of nine top awards including Best Short Documentary at the Pan African Film Festival; THE GROVE, broadcast nationally on PBS and awarded Best Documentary at the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival; and UNDER OUR SKIN, the recipient of seven best documentary awards at international film festivals and Academy Award semifinalist for Best Documentary Feature. His films have garnered numerous awards and been shown on Netflix, HBO, PBS, CBC, the Showtime Networks, and in theaters and film festivals worldwide. Andrew is a past budget director of the film distribution cooperative New Day Films and former board director of the Jewish Film Institute.

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Kids with complex, invisible illness and their families face unimaginable hurdles as they confront failing medical and child protective systems.

Kids with rare and complex diseases whose care is too complicated for mainstream medicine are being tossed around from specialist to specialist, abandoned and even accused of psychological disorders or of faking their illness. They often live with chronic pain and other symptoms, but are unable to get the help they need because they are considered too medically complex, or financially and legally risky—or, worse, because they or their parents may not be believed in the first place.

COMPLICATED focuses on one of the most prevalent of these conditions, a connective-tissue disease called Ehler’s-Danlos syndrome (EDS), which creates multi-systemic challenges for patients and physicians. Disabling and in some cases fatal, EDS is estimated to afflict from 1-in-5000 to 1-in-500 people worldwide (so it may not be a rare disease after all). What differentiates EDS and other related illnesses is their invisibility—a lack of awareness and accurate diagnostics—and the perilous medical and legal maze in which pediatric patients, their families, and even the doctors who agree to treat them, find themselves adrift.

Desperately seeking multiple opinions and specialists, many parents of “complicated” kids (especially mothers) are suspected of over-medicalizing their children and risk being charged with medical child abuse, and losing custody or parental rights.

COMPLICATED takes the viewer into the hidden world of children coping and trying to live their lives with rare, complex and invisible illnesses, parents facing impossible choices to help them, and providers who dismiss them as "too complicated" or risk it all to save them.

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