In this time of uncertainties about health care comes the documentary “Special Blood.” HAE

This film is about a little know disease called Hereditary Angioedema (HAE).  Affecting 1 in 10,000 to 50,000 births, most healthcare professionals have never heard of it. “Special Blood” HAE

HAE causes the body to swell. Arms, legs, and stomach can all be affected. The worst place this disease attacks is the patience’s throat.

Synopsis

Failed by a healthcare system that is largely ignorant of their existence, four patients with a life-threatening, rare disease learn to find strength in each other and their small, but strong community.

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The children featured in this film are both younger and older. As this is a hereditary disease, the story also concerns itself with the parents who passed HAE to their children.

The two older children are interesting in that they completely understand the disease and have experienced swelling full on. Both teens are active. One is a dancer and one loves sports. That’s not to say the younger children haven’t had their attacks of HAE. Ava, the youngest had both her eyes swollen all the way shut. The photo featured in the film shows a beautiful young girl who looks like she went a few rounds with Mike Tyson.

These children have to be so careful and yet still be children. That’s a fine line to walk. Little Ava Levy’s father explains that he feels guilty for passing the disease onto his daughter. He reveals what happens to a person with HAE. “If a person slams his fingers in a car door, it starts to swell. If I slammed my fingers in a car door, it would also swell, but it wouldn’t stop.”

Filmmaker Natalie Metzger knows what HAE does first hand. Her father passed it on to her.  At one point in “Special Blood” we witness her having some swelling and becoming ill. It’s sad to see such a young, vibrant and talented woman stopped in her tracks by this insidious disease.

“Special Blood” also shows two women who have lost their children to the disease. It is these women who really bring the issue of such a rare disease home. What would happen if your child got a disease so rare that most hospitals don’t know what it is or how to treat it. This is horror in it’s purest form.

TERRA’S OPINION

This documentary is very well made. It shows children who have to be so careful and yet still be children. Little Ava Levy’s father explains that he feels guilty for passing the disease onto his daughter. He reveals what happens to a person with HAE. “If a person slams his hand in a car door, it starts to swell. If I slammed my hand into a car door, it would also swell, but it wouldn’t stop.

As I do in all my documentary reviews, I have to reveal if the doc is informative and entertaining. I can’t say that a documentary about a disease that is so horrible can be very entertaining, so “Special Blood” gets a pass on that part. Informative is another thing, and this documentary gives you all the information that is known about HAE.

I’m sorry there has to be documentaries such as this. But, people need to know this disease exists. Below are some links, one of them is to the official website for this film.

Official Website 

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Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
"Special Blood"
Author Rating
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About The Author

Always interested in a good indie film, my taste run towards Horror and documentaries. Rom-coms are my least favorite genre, but I will always take a look for the better good of the site. I've reviewed films for seven years and want to do it for about 20 more...we will see.

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