6.9/10
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A Life Without Pain (2005)

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Documentarian Melody Gilbert follows the daily lives of three girls -- a 3-year-old Minnesotan, a 7-year-old Norwegian and a 10-year-old German -- who share an extremely rare disease: ... See full summary »

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Melody Gilbert
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Documentarian Melody Gilbert follows the daily lives of three girls -- a 3-year-old Minnesotan, a 7-year-old Norwegian and a 10-year-old German -- who share an extremely rare disease: congenital insensitivity to pain. Despite seeming like a possible blessing - sufferers cannot feel when they are burning their hands, cutting their feet, even a broken bone - so they lack that warning sign by which sudden pain alerts the rest of us to the danger, causing us to jump back, let go of a hot pan, or otherwise protect ourselves from further harm. In this way, pain actually protects us, by functioning as a very effective warning signal. For children then, especially, lacking this signal becomes extremely perilous and requires just absolute constant protection and many injuries are made worse by not alerting the child to, for example, pull their hand back from a hot stove and so on.

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Documentary

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Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Norwegian

Release Date:

12 March 2005 (USA) See more »

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Frozen Feet Films See more »
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Color
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User Reviews

 
An unflinching look at a rare disease
27 February 2006 | by coprogirlSee all my reviews

Documentary filmmaker Melody Gilbert has created a small gem of a film about a rare congenital disease known as congenital analgesia. Only about a hundred people worldwide are known to have this diagnosis. People with this disorder can feel no pain, and are prone to numerous injuries and accidents that can be disfiguring as well as lethal.

The film tells the story of Three-year-old Gabby from Minnesota, 7-year-old Miriam from Norway and 10-year-old Jamilah from Germany. Their stories are told with unflinching truthfulness and a deliberate lack of sentimentality. The courage of the girls and their families in spite of their great difficulties is truly uplifting.

The movie was easy to watch, it seemed to end too soon. It would be nice to see a sequel on how these delightful girls are doing in a few years.


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