Lymelife--see it on DVD now
Even in the Lyme epicenter of Long Island, NY, in the 70s and 80s, Lyme disease was generally considered a made-up thing. Pain pills were subscribed to people who were suffering. Their struggle with sanity and physical debilitation was sad and frightful for their loved ones to witness, but if you were sick and there was no clear reason for it, you were basically left to fend for yourself. The disease was suspected to be psychosomatic, which meant that you somehow brought it on yourself.
Actor and director Steven Martini talked openly with me about the personal nature of his film, which is largely autobiographical. Sparked from the depths of his first experience with true love, the film turns on his character's recognition that life unfolds in tenuous, often dangerous ways. His girlfriend's father is inflicted with this mysterious illness, and the young man is confronted with complexities he is barely prepared to comprehend.
Listen to my conversation with Steven Martini about his latest film, Lymelife.