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Lyme movie

Lymelife--see it on DVD now

Lymelife has just been released on DVD. If you missed it in the theaters, buy it or rent it this weekend. First and foremost, it's a heartbreaking story about falling in love and growing up, funny and powerful and poignant. But it's also a story about someone with Lyme. Through the character of Charlie, the movie reveals the unflinching pain--both physical and psychological--that people suffering with Lyme disease experienced in that era.

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.

Lymelife filmmaker turns pain into art

Actor, writer, producer, editor and composer Steven Martini's latest film is Lymelife. As one reviewer wrote, "Lymelife is a unique take on the dangers of the American Dream."

Steven and his brother Derick learned the craft of filmmaking while making Goat on Fire and Smiling Fish (1999), and wanted to "dig deeper" for their next film. The material they mined for Lymelife is largely autobiographical. Taking place in the late 70s, the story chronicles their childhood in the NE, a first searing adolescent love affair, and the dissolution of their family unit. Scott, 15, begins to see that nothing is quite like he thought it was.

In the story, Scott's girlfriend's father, Charlie, is inflicted with Lyme. In real life, Steven's girlfriend's father had Lyme as well. He watched her family try to deal with illness and found it terrifying. As Steven says, Lyme back then was considered mysterious, even psychosomatic. Sound familiar?

I got a chance to speak with Steven last week. He described the intensity of writing and producing this autobiographical tale. He talks about his creative process and his experience of making the film, and even tells what became of the real life character of Charlie.

Please listen to our conversation by clicking on the Podcast link below.


Let's Get the Lyme movie on Oprah

Dr. Mehmet Oz of the Oprah & Friends Network aired a 45-minute interview with director Andy Abrahams Wilson and medical correspondent Kathy Fowler on his nationally syndicated talk radio show November 26, 2008. Dr. Oz, a renowned surgeon and health expert, said "I was so moved!" and called Under Our Skin "a beautiful film...a whole different way of thinking about reporting on health."

Moved as he was, Dr. Oz expressed interest in trying to get Under Our Skin on Oprah, where he is a regular guest contributor. But first, in order to gauge viewer interest, Dr. Oz and Oprah need to hear from you. Here's what you can do -- and please remember to praise Dr. Oz's coverage of the issue and the film.

So now we know that we are on Oprah's radar... that is a big deal. But so far, there has not been an impressive enough response to Dr. Oz's show.

We need more. Get your friends, family, co-workers, doctors, nurses, anyone and everyone you know to write Dr. Oz. There are Lyme groups around the world - everyone needs to be passing this info along and getting everyone to email in. Can everyone post it everywhere.. email in. Ask friends and other people who know what you are going through to contact Dr. Oz.

Getting on Oprah would be a very huge deal.

Here is the info again to Email Dr. Oz.

Also, you can leave comments on Oprah's community forum.