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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Homesick: Living with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

A new documentary about an emerging disability and the need for accessible housing

Filmmaker Susan Abod started making Homesick in 1997. This 56-minute documentary follows her literal journey with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, as she goes on a road trip to find others who are coping with this disability and to discover if and how they have created safe housing.

Homesick PosterFrom 1997 to 2013, Susan pushed to finish the film and connect with the disability community. Her goal is to let others know that they’re not alone. “Before I got sick, I was singing professionally in clubs and concerts and teaching music. Now, MCS controls where I live, what I eat, what I wear, where I go, what I buy (or, more often, what I do not buy), even whom I hug.”

Released in 2013, this increasingly relevant documentary provides a story that is needed now more than ever. Homesick documents the physical and emotional experiences of people with MCS through personal portraits, bringing a human face to an often-unseen population. This serves to lessen their isolation and increase acceptance in their communities and even in their own families, where they are often misunderstood or disbelieved. 

Susan created Homesick to reach others with this condition. When it became available in September 2013, professionals also wanted the film for educational support.

“[Homesick is] a must see film for those of us in the MCS community who have felt invalidated, disenfranchised and looked at askance,” says Eileen Gross, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Santa Fe, New Mexico. “[It is] an invaluable tool for professionals and the general public willing to listen and learn about the daily struggle of living with this illness.”

Homesick: Living With Multiple Chemical Sensitivities is now available to individuals, libraries, universities, and non-profit organizations. When asked whether the film was a necessity, Poet and Author Aurora Levins Morales responded, “It’s going to save lives.”

Centers for Independent Living can now order a copy of Homesick at a special discounted price. Accessibility features on the Homesick DVD include closed captioning and audio descriptions.

Visit the Homesick website to watch a trailer and to purchase the film.

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