“Out of My Head,” Susanna Styron’s award-winning documentary about migraines, will be available on DVD and streaming, starting June 9. June is National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month. The film was reviewed in the August 8, 2018, edition of the MV Times.
Styron’s interest in migraines stems from her daughter Emma’s struggle with this painful neurological disease. Thirty-nine million Americans live with the intense pain caused by migraine headaches. It is one of the most common causes of disability, and can cause auras, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.
In “Out of My Head,” Styron explores the disease with the help of doctors, neuroscientists, and other experts. Some of the well-known individuals suffering from chronic migraines include “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” author Lewis Carroll, American Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, painter Georgia O’Keeffe, and novelists Virginia Woolf and Joan Didion. Didion has written, “When I say a headache, I don’t just mean a headache, I mean something that would totally brutalize you.” With a grandson burdened with this terrible affliction, I have experienced firsthand the terrible physical toll it inflicts.
Among the devices Styron uses to investigate the history of migraines are cinéma vérité, art, and animation. “Out of My Head,” which will be distributed by Kino Lorber, premiered at Doc Fortnight 2018, the Museum of Modern Arts’ International Festival of Nonfiction Films. It won Melbourne Australia’s Best International Documentary at its Documentary Film Festival. To view the film, visit outofmyheadfilm.com.