Sheffield Doc/Fest Review: Electric Malady

It might not be a condition you’ve heard of, and arguments still rage across the medical community about whether it is actually an illness in its own right, but electrosensitivity affects a significant number of people across the globe. We live in an increasingly connected world. Electromagnetic fields are all around us, generated by WIFI, phone masts or pylons. While our bodies are attuned to the Earth’s natural radiation, the same is not always the case for this manmade phenomenon.  

William lives with electromagnetic hypersensitivity. In essence this means that he lives alone, largely within a shielding ‘cage’, covered in a blanket to protect him from manmade maladies. He yearns for freedom, but even limited exposure to the outside world can make him ill. William rarely goes out and is only visited by his parents and a local priest. This painfully lonely existence is captured in visual artist Marie Liden’s new film, Electric Malady.

Electric Malady is a very personal portrait of a lonely soul. Lidéns’ mother suffered the same condition and there’s a very intimate connection between the pair. Allowing us to see much more than otherwise would have been possible. Regardless of the whys and wherefores of the science around it, the impact it has is brought into stark relief. Electric Malady is a thoughtful meditation on isolation.

Electric Malady screens at Sheffield Doc/Fest.

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