The Pain of Others

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 7:00pm
DCTV, 87 Lafayette St, NYC

Doors 6:30pm | Event 7pm | No admittance after 7:30pm

The Films

The Pain of Others

Directed by Penny Lane / 2018 / 71 min

The Pain of Others is a found footage documentary about Morgellons, a mysterious illness whose sufferers have parasites under the skin, long colored fibers emerging from lesions, and a host of other bizarre symptoms that could be borrowed from a horror film. Tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, currently say they have it. But the mainstream medical community says Morgellons is not a disease, but a delusion, propagated and reinforced by social media. “It’s all in your head,” they say. Morgellons sufferers don’t understand what is happening to them; but whatever it is, it is very real. The Pain of Others is composed entirely of videos shared by a small group of “Morgies” who have turned to YouTube to prove they’re not crazy. These women document what’s going on with their bodies. They share their terror, anger and confusion. They discover community and a sort of healing in one another – even as their questionable beliefs are reinforced in a frightening echo chamber of misinformation and quack cures. Unsettling, funny and ultimately touching, The Pain of Others is a radical act of empathy, asking viewers to travel through disbelief, discomfort and YouTube compression in order to access a reality only found through proximity to these bodies.

Normal Appearances

Directed by Penny Lane / 2017 / 5 min

An unsettling supercut of the women of #BachelorNation watching themselves being watched. A sort of ambivalent fan vid?

Post-Screening Q&A

Penny Lane (Director) Penny Lane is an award-winning nonfiction filmmaker who was named one of Filmmaker Magazine‘s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” and a Chicken & Egg Breakthrough Award winner.

Her most recent feature-length documentary The Pain of Others premiered at Rotterdam 2018, and went on to BAMcinemaFest, Sheffield Doc/Fest, SF DocFest, BAFICI, Sarasota and Maryland Film Festivals. Her second feature-length documentary Nuts! premiered at Sundance 2016, where it won a Special Jury Award for Editing. It has since screened at many other film festivals such as Hot Docs, Full Frame, Ashland, Maryland, Cleveland, Sarasota and BAFICI. The film is now in wide distribution. Her debut feature-length documentary Our Nixon premiered at Rotterdam 2013, had its North American premiere at SXSW, won the Ken Burns Award for “Best of the Festival” at Ann Arbor, and was selected as the Closing Night Film at New Directors/New Films. The film is in wide distribution, and has aired on CNN, ARTE France, and many other television outlets worldwide.

Penny’s short films are distributed by Vtape and include titles such as The Voyagers (2010), The Commoners (2009) and We Are The Littletons: A True Story. Her 2005 short The Abortion Diaries has become an important organizing and educational tool across the nation. In 2006, Penny was given a Choice USA “Generation Award” for her work on this film.

Penny has been awarded grants from the Sundance Institute, Catapult Film Fund, Creative Capital, Cinereach, TFI Documentary Fund, Jerome Foundation, LEF Foundation, NYSCA, Experimental Television Center, IFP and Puffin Foundation. She was named “Most Badass!” at the Iowa City Documentary Film Festival in 2009. She received her MFA in Integrated Electronic Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and her BA in American Culture and Media Studies at Vassar College. She has taught film, video and new media art at Bard College, Hampshire College and Williams College. She is currently an Associate Professor of Art and Art History at Colgate University, where she lives in a very old house and shows movies in her barn. And yes, Penny Lane is her real name.


Eventbrite - DCTV Presents: Winter/Spring 2018

Doors 6:30pm | Event 7pm | No admittance after 7:30pm


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This event is part of the Fall 2018 season of DCTV Presents, DCTV’s signature screening and event series that champions groundbreaking nonfiction film.

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