Produced and directed by Jenni Gold, also produced by Jeff Maynard, this star-studded documentary follows how the disabled are portrayed in mainstream media in society in the past to the slow advancements to the present. The way the documentary travels through the films made is very interesting and gripping because it explains how disabled characteristics are separated to heroes and villains. Filmmakers found these characters essential when wanting to instill life lessons in films that penetrate through time and culture into the people who watch these films.
Despite severe critics who find some of the roles insulting and degrading, the exploration of unique characters attracted big names which pushed disabilities in films out of the primary focus and into just another characteristic of the personality written from the script. There are in-depth discussions about the audience craving a connection to their inner self and to the rest of the world, which brought the conversation over to the most memorable shows ‘Ironside‘ (1967) and ‘The Miracle Worker‘ (1962), which changed the rest of the world.
After the Vietnam war, veterans moved forward with film story-telling for the disabled, which pushed this genre into great success. As the life affected by the disability Changing portrayal of disability that brought forward equality for the disabled. Actors who had played memorable roles talk about getting to know the person and filmmakers who are disabled, and the experience working through to the end of the film for the audience to see. This is a great film to watch as aspiring filmmakers or experienced filmmakers alike.
The style of the documentary is solid and consistent. The issue of inequality is presented through a long history of how things were to how they are now. The small victories and wins push the documentary along and really reaches out to connect with everyone watching. Because of the various personalities on the screen, there is never a moment of a lull where the audience is lost. Instead, due to the several memorable titles, like ‘Forrest Gump‘ (1994) and ‘Finding Nemo‘ (2003), most people who hadn’t realized how much better the story became due to the disabled characters figured it out when presented with it. And the truth about media changing the world’s view on the disabled truly connects with anyone who watches.
There isn’t a solution at the end of the documentary, but a hope or aspiration that the world could take from this documentary and continue to push ahead with acceptance and equality in roles and opportunities for all. This is an inspiring body of work that continues to affect our society, which continues to change, hopefully, for the better.