SLAMDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2021 REVIEW! Endomic is a complex documentary that gives viewers much to think about and should not be missed. Written and directed by Camille Hollett-French and Ipek Ensari, this short pairs well with another film addressing the medical model of disability: How Much Am I Worth?
Endometriosis is a condition in which “the tissue that is supposed to stay inside a uterus travels mysteriously and grows outside other organs, including ovaries, intestines, and sometimes even as far as the lungs, diaphragm, and brain.” Not nearly enough is known about this condition since the medical field appears not to take it seriously. The movie provides examples of research literature that is deeply rooted in sexism and racism.
“…tissue that is supposed to stay inside a uterus travels mysteriously and grows outside other organs…”
It is easy to minimize pain that you do not have, and just like in How Much Am I Worth?, not enough funding is being provided to make many inroads in the treatment of endometriosis as well, because apparently “highly sophisticated funding bodies” believe in only giving $1 for each patient (I would have appreciated more information on what this really means, but it does sound pretty bad).
The filmmakers layer their documentary with a cynical sense of humour which involves participants claiming they are not in terrible pain when they clearly are. I can’t really do justice to the unique comedy on tap here, but suffice it to say, it is borne out of pain – because if you can’t laugh, you will cry, and most likely, your laughter will be drowned in tears anyway. The film continues in the credits, which I appreciated. It helps drive the point home that there is not enough funding to touch upon the other issues related to endometriosis the creators would have wanted to cover.
Endomic is an example of what a passion project looks like, and it is also well-made to boot. Sometimes I did not get all the humour, but maybe I am not supposed to. I am just happy that this movie is here and that I have learned something in my cinematic travels. People who suffer from endometriosis need their voices heard, and researchers/filmmakers Camille Hollett-French and Ipek Ensari are helping make that happen.
Endomic screened at the 2021 Slamdance Film Festival.
"…It is easy to minimize pain that you do not have"