Film spreads Lyme disease awareness

The documentary Under Our Skin will be shown as part of the New Perspectives Film Series at Wilton Library on Saturday, June 13, at 7:30 p.m. The series is programmed and moderated by filmmaker Megan Smith-Harris, but her husband, Bill Harris, will be filling in for her this weekend.
Under Our Skin is an Oscar-shortlisted film that exposes a hidden story of medical and scientific malfeasance and neglect in the field of Lyme disease.
By following the stories of patients and physicians fighting for their lives, the film reveals a corrupt system that puts profits before patients.
With official case numbers exploding and hundreds of thousands of people around the world going undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, the film is relevant and timely.
“I think the film is very comprehensive in the examination of the disease itself,” Bill Harris told The Bulletin on Tuesday, “also in the effects it can have on people, and some of the discussions about care and diagnosis around Lyme disorder. It examines a really underappreciated health concern.”
Harris, who has had three bouts with Lyme disease in 12 years, is more than fit to lead the post-film Q&A. “It hits home, and it’s very close to me personally,” he said.
“I know what it’s like to go undiagnosed, I know what it’s like to go on long-term antibiotic treatment, when you have it [the disease] systemically.”
As a former senior vice president of programming and production at A&E Television Network, Harris advocates for these kinds of films.
“Screening documentaries is something we support greatly,” he said, referring to himself and his wife.
“This film is important to us, most specifically here in Connecticut because of the prevalence of Lyme disease.”
Regardless of whether people attend the screening or not, he believes the issue should be given attention in general.
“It’s an important healthcare issue. Even if you don’t see the film, then everyone in the audience and in Connecticut should pay careful attention. It’s a very dangerous disease to have.”
A $5 donation is suggested, and refreshments will be served. Registration is highly recommended. To register, call Wilton Library 203-762-3950 or visit www.wiltonlibrary.org.