All the Rage
America is experiencing an epidemic of pain. For nearly 50 years, Dr. John Sarno has been facing that epidemic head on, but like a modern-day Cassandra (crossed with Don Quixote), he has been struggling to be heard. Sarno contends that chronic pain is a manifestation of the mind-body connection. He doesn’t dispute that there are also physically based causes such as a torn Achilles, but Sarno believes that most chronic pain has an emotional source — e.g., repressed rage or prior trauma — and that treating the symptom will not resolve the underlying problem. Sarno has largely been ostracized by his fellow doctors for his views, though he’s in no way a militant proselytizer — in fact, he seems resigned to the notion that his therapeutic approach, which avoids drugs and surgery, is doomed for rejection because it’s insufficiently profitable. SLIFF alum Michael Galinsky (“Who Took Johnny”) became interested in Sarno because of his own often crippling chronic pain, and the film uses his personal story as an affecting entryway into the larger issues. Adroitly mixing-and-matching autobiography, animated graphics, and interviews — with Sarno, his family, other physicians, St. Louis’ own Prince EA, and celebrity proponents such as Howard Stern, Larry David, and John Stossel — “All the Rage” aims to amplify Sarno’s message and insist that America finally pay attention.