REVIEW: Tender Points: A Fibromyalgia Journey – Documentary

A knowledge of fibromyalgia, or even an understanding of the American medical system, is not a prerequisite for watching Tender Points: A Fibromyalgia Journey, a fresh documentary which gently and clearly provides a thorough explanation of the disease which causes widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and memory issues, among other symptoms. Directed by actress Seri DeYoung from Freeform’s hit drama Good Trouble, Tender Points is a peek behind the curtain of a debilitating illness.

Through intimate interviews, as well as self documentation, Tender Points chronicles Lina Alvarez, a ceramic artist and businesswoman in Los Angeles, as she struggles to perform daily tasks before discovering an unconventional treatment which could potentially reverse the symptoms of her disease.

A carefully crafted documentary from DeYoung, Alvarez, and producer Kimberly Woods, who all not only serve as filmmakers but also appear on screen, Tender Points is a safe space for sufferers of the illness to to open up, allowing them an honest and unfiltered opportunity to share the realities of their experiences. While the first half of the film focuses on explaining the raw and painful existence which these people endure, Tender Points shifts from informational to experiential as Lina undergoes a new, and unverified, alleged cure.

Unveiling an unproven treatment introduced by a LA based physician Dr. Paul St. Amand, Tender Points documents the brutal ordeal, capturing Lina’s raw anguish and exhaustion with a laser focus to reach a single goal of finding relief. Drawing attention to a largely under-researched disease, while also spreading the news of a potential option to reverse symptoms, Tender Points ultimately provides a glimmer of hope for the millions who suffer from fibromyalgia.

Watch the trailer for Tender Points here.

— Yael Tygiel

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