>Writings on the depiction of race and gender in films are plentiful but I've
>seen very little on disabilities.
>It seems to me that disabilities are portrayed for several limited purposes:
>1. To show that a person is immoral-i.e. that he/she is morally as well as
>physically disabled. (Richard III [1995] ; the financeer in When Worlds
>Collide [1951];
>2. To evoke pity and underline a villain's cruelty. (Richard Widmark as Tommy
>Udo in Kiss of Death [1947] rolling an elderly woman in a wheelchair
>3. To heighten tension and a sense of vulnerability. ( Audrey Hepburn in Home
>Before Dark [1967]; Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window [1954] and Madeleine Stowe
>in Blink [1994]).
>4. In biographies for purposes of historical accuracy. (Nelson in That
>Hamilton Woman [1941]).
>5. To discuss the nature and consequences of particular disabilities.
>Children of a Lesser God (1984).
>Forest Gump (1994) is a happy exception to the foregoing. But even with this
>exception, however, it seems that individuals with disabilities have seldom
>appeared in films as "naturally" as other minorities now do.
>I hope that I am overly pessimistic, but if I am not, I hope for change.
>Any comments would be deeply appreciated.
>Peter L.
>P.S. My interest in this topic stems in part from my role as co-founder of
>the National Center for Law and Learning Disabilities.
TO: Peter Latham
Please excuse the Broadcast, I could not find your email address.
I am making a feature film about a disabled man and would love to share my
thoughts with you.   I have received support and interest from Oliver Sacks
(Awakenings writer), Barry Morrow (Rain Man writer), and Martin Norden (The
Cinema of Isolation:  A History of Disability in the Movies).  My film
depicts the inner experience of a disabled man.
Please email me at your convenience.
David A. Davidson
| Camera Obscura Cinema
| 2149 Valentine Street
| Los Angeles, CA  90026
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