The Illness and the Odyssey

About This Episode


A cure for Alzheimer’s. A Nobel Prize. An honored place in medical history. All of this hangs in the balance as scientists race to find the cure for a rare disease found on one remote Pacific island. The Illness & the Odyssey tells the story of a deadly, mind-wasting disease that could, potentially, hold the key to solving the riddle of so many other neurological nightmares.

Based on the book "The Island of the Colorblind" by renowned neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks, the film follows three scientists, each of whom has dedicated the major portion of their careers to proving one of these hypotheses. As so often happens in human pursuits — even scientific ones — the debate among them has been intense and passionate to the point of enmity. Using intimate interviews, verite documentary scenes, rare archival footage and an original music score, The Illness & The Odyssey traces the story of the scientists who hope to reveal who is right and who is not.