Friday, August 22, 2008

RealAbilities Film Festival: An anidote to Tropic Thunder

The first annual RealAbilities Film Festival is getting underway next month in New York. This festival is "dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different disabilities. Discussions and other engaging programs will bring together the community to explore, discuss and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience." And that includes not only film makers but also actors, including Sigourney Weaver of Snow Cake.

Take a look at the line-up of films; even if we can't be there it is wonderful to read about films out there that get beyond Hollywood and Jerry Lewis stereotypes. In February I wrote a post, Why not a Disability Film Festival? and here one is. I love it when other people implement great ideas!

I also appreciate when other writers express ideas and thoughts better than I can. In this case, Patricia E. Bauer has written an essay in the Washington Post in response to the movie Tropic Thunder, which has sparked protest among disability groups for its degradation of people with intellectual disabilities. I suggest you read her words: A Movie, a Word and My Family's Battle. And take a look at one Public Service Announcement that was created to counteract the negativity of the movie: When You Can Call Me....

If only this video and the RealAbilities film festival could garner the publicity and exposure of Tropic Thunder! Do you think it would make a difference? Why or why not??

1 comment:

Pam said...

Hi Carol, loved the Washington Post article and the public service announcement. Your blog reminds me of an incident last summer where my son and I were in our van and an angry man came up along side us on the road and shouted; "Is your son some kind of f---ing retard?". Feeling calm, I said, yes, he is mentally retarded. Any other questions?". The man not expecting that response drove off. I really wish that others could walk in our shoes for even a day. Pam