This is a bit of a different film to what I would normally review, and I can almost guarantee the majority of people reading this will not have heard anything about the feature. This film follows the story of a northern girl named Lily living with severe Epilepsy, therefore the film isn’t exactly light-hearted. However as an Epileptic myself, I found this film to be incredibly moving; I was sent on an emotional roller coaster as I watched how Lily coped with crazy amounts of seizures and medications in everyday life.
Epilepsy may be a key part within the narrative of this film, however the main event going on in Lily’s life is the passing of her mother. To most young girls this would be heartbreaking, however I would go as far as saying that Lily’s mother should never have had children. This may sound harsh but Lily’s mother (believe it or not), is the actual reason for Lily’s current condition due to her uncaring nature, and so it’s no surprise when she and her siblings don’t mourn her for long. Instead Lily goes on a search for her long-lost brother whom she hasn’t seen since her damaged childhood. However, Lily is putting herself at major risk, as her Epilepsy is so severe that it seemingly cannot be controlled by medication and there seems to be a lack of any kind of trigger for her seizures. So armed with only a jacket round her waist to use as a soft surface when she inevitably falls to the ground, she heads into London.
I should also mention that this feature is supported by the British Film Institute (The BFI) who are known for funding small-time independant British films made by professionals or amateurs. They also fund films that may be considered as ‘arty’ and this film is no exception; throughout the feature we see the flashbacks, dreams and hallucinations that Lily sees. They’re quite something to watch and I applaud the Visual Effects team for creating such vivid and accurately portrayed dream sequences.
But most importantly what this film dares to do which most other television shows and films don’t is portray the devastatingly harmful effects of Epilepsy both on the individual and the friends and family. Although some scenes may be hard for some viewers to watch, I personally have never watched something so powerfully accurate about the illness. Overall, it made me feel extremely grateful that my Epilepsy is currently under control and that it could be far worse…
The film is currently available on BBC 3 Online (IPlayer)
For more information about Epilepsy and it’s effects visit http://www.youngepilepsy.org.uk