Funny You Don’t Look Sick



Merit Award Winner
Superfest International Disability Film Festival

This intimate documentary self-portrait is told with humor and compassion. Susan Abod is a woman living with Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) or Environmental Illness. Filmed over a period of 18 months in 1994-95, Susan describes in detail the nature of her illness, illustrates her daily routine, and gives us a guided tour of her environmentally “safe” apartment. Comments from Susan’s numerous doctors and a visit with her CFIDS support group offer further insights in this illuminating, firsthand report on a baffling, twenty-first century disease.

Produced by Susan Abod and Lisa Pontoppidan,
1995. Color, 64 mins, VHS & DVD video


“Utterly absorbing documentary”Santa Fe Reporter

July 30, 2006
by Mary McGinnis
Lana Hamilton, a public health professional, almost became one of 38,000 New Mexicans who had to give up a job or occupation because of multiple chemical sensitivities. “I saw dozens of doctors and none of them knew what was wrong.” After seeing the movieFunny You Don’t Look Sick, Hamilton realized her symptoms were catalogued in the movie.The New Mexican

“Those longing to retrieve the experience of genuine emotion in a dark theater, will want to see Funny You Don’t Look Sick…It invites the healthy and disabled to recognize a common will to endure and prevail…This autobiographical video is not portrait of a victim. It is the self-discovery of a survivor.”

The Boston Globe

“Her perseverance and cheer are moving.” “Fine documentary on an important theme”

Chicago Tribune

“…excellent…serious, though often humorous…Susan Abod’s story puts a human face on this debilitating illness which robs people of their energy and plays havoc with their immune system responses. When Abod wistfully lists pleasures she misses-afghans, coffee, browsing through the mail-we begin to comprehend both the magnitude of the losses and how much we take for granted. Highly recommended.”

Video Librarian

[“Funny You Don’t Look Sick”] can stand on it’s own in any gathering of documentary films … Entertaining and highly professional”

The Human Ecologist

“…A provocative documentary…validates the physical and emotional experience of living these illnesses.”

Sojourner: The Women’s Forum

“…poignant and dramatically honest. There are many unexplored kinds of illness and this film places an enlightened face on disabilities that no one would otherwise discuss.”

Gail Kansky, President
Massachusetts CFIDS Association

“This is a valuable educational tool. It brings the reality of living with a 20th century illness into our homes and confronts us with the potential consequences of toxic exposures.”

“It brings the reality of living with 20th century illness into our homes and confronts us with the potential consequences of toxic exposures.”

Peter Nakashian, Executive Director
American Association of Environmental Medicine (AAEM)

” I found this video to be very useful in educating those who suffer with CFIDS and MCS; informing families and friends. “Funny You Don’t Look Sick” is a helpful aid (source) for learning about such a complicated illness”

Dr. Jeanne Hubbuch, Newton MA
AAEM member

Posted in