I have always been fascinated by Tourette’s syndrome, which naturally manifested in my seeing virtually every documentary ever made on the subject, including:
- John’s Not Mad (1989)
- Twitch and Shout (1993)
- The Boy Can’t Help It (2002)
- I Have Tourette’s But Tourette’s Doesn’t Have Me (2005)
- Teenage Tourettes Camp (2006)
- Hidden Lives: Tourette’s on the Job (2007)
- Tourette de France (2007)
That is why I was very happy to find out that Israel’s Channel 10 will broadcast an Israeli documentary about the subject titled ‘Involuntary‘ (2007), directed by Boaz Rosenberg. The film follows Alin Tubul (30) and Shani Nulman (18), two young Israeli women very different from one another, as they struggle with severe Tourette over the course of three years. The US National Institutes of Health estimates 200,000 Americans have severe Tourette’s, which might infer there are 4,700 Israelis in predicaments similar to Alin’s and Shani’s. If there is, in fact, strength in numbers, I cannot imagine how lonely it must feel to have Tourette’s in such a small country as Israel.
After watching that many documentaries, I categorize Tourette’s portrayal in popular media into three depth levels:
- Hollywood’s Tourette, as depicted in TV and movies, emphasizing the quote-unquote funny side.
- Tourette 101, as depicted in every documentary made so far, emphasizing the day-to-day struggle with social stigmas.
- Full-blown Tourette’s, which I have yet to have seen in popular media, revealing the typical comorbid conditions of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), intrusive thoughts and suicidal tendencies.
I can only hope future documentaries will deal with this third category.
Here is a fascinating news story about Alin and the documentary, by Channel 10′s Nesli Barda (Hebrew):
(Please note that for some reason Alin Tubul is referred to as Alin Biton in the story)
‘Involuntary’ will be broadcast on Israel’s Channel 10 this coming Saturday, March 1, 2008 at 11pm.
Been thinking about Digital Footprints lately and the need to write an eloquent post about it. During the writing of this post I easily found a photo of the film director sitting naked on the toilet, as well as phone numbers (home and cell) of Alin, the film’s protagonist, along with her mental health history. What do your Digital Footprints reveal about you?