A journey seen through the eyes of a young woman with epilepsy that brings extraordinary hallucinations as she searches for her long lost brother.
Director: Bryn Higgins
Writer: Joe Fisher
When three-month-old Lia Lee Arrived at the county hospital emergency room in Merced, California, a chain of events was set in motion from which neither she nor her parents nor her doctors would ever recover. Lia’s parents, Foua and Nao Kao, were part of a large Hmong community in Merced, refugees from the CIA-run “Quiet War” in Laos. The Hmong, traditionally a close-knit and fiercely independent people, have been less amenable to assimilation than most immigrants, adhering steadfastly to the rituals and beliefs of their ancestors. Lia’s pediatricians, Neil Ernst and his wife, Peggy Philip, cleaved just as strongly to another tradition: that of Western medicine. When Lia Lee Entered the American medical system, diagnosed as an epileptic, her story became a tragic case history of cultural miscommunication.
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
The most acclaimed European graphic novel of the last ten years, Epileptic is David B.’s story of his brother’s battle with epilepsy – but it turns into a penetrating and sometimes lacerating self-examination on the author’s part, as he delves into his own complex emotions and his family’s troubled history, as well as his own youthful fantasy life. Particularly pointed is his description of the family journey from one attempted cure to another, including acupuncture, spiritualism and macrobiotics.
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Inspired by an image of Christ’s suffering, Dostoyevsky set out to create a protagonist with “a truly beautiful soul” and to trace the fate of such an individual as he comes into contact with the brutal reality of contemporary society. The novel begins when the innocent epileptic Prince Myshkin – the ‘idiot’ – arrives in St Petersburg and finds himself drawn into a web of violent and passionate relationships that leads to blackmail, betrayal and eventually murder.
Jonathan Lloyd HYMS: themes epilepsy, social class, ostracising effects of illness.