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Disability In Film

by thursday
this is an ongoing list of films that include depictions of disability and issues relating to disability that I don’t hate that I believe to be not completely conventional or ableist. if you find issue with any of the films on the list or think i’ve missed something let me know. Physical Disability: The Wheelchair / El Cochecito (1960) The Waterdance (1992) Cousin (1998) Notting Hill (1999) The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun / La Petite Vendeuse de Soleil (1999) Crazy (2000) Rory O’Shea Was Here (2004) Saved! (2004) Aaltra (2004) Brothers of the Head (2005) It is Fine. Everything is Fine! (2007) Two Legged Horse / Asbe Du-pa (2008) Beeswax… Read more

this is an ongoing list of films that include depictions of disability and issues relating to disability that I don’t hate that I believe to be not completely conventional or ableist. if you find issue with any of the films on the list or think i’ve missed something let me know.

Physical Disability:

The Wheelchair / El Cochecito (1960)
The Waterdance (1992)
Cousin (1998)
Notting Hill (1999)
The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun / La Petite Vendeuse de Soleil (1999)
Crazy (2000)
Rory O’Shea Was Here (2004)
Saved! (2004)
Aaltra (2004)
Brothers of the Head (2005)
It is Fine. Everything is Fine! (2007)
Two Legged Horse / Asbe Du-pa (2008)
Beeswax (2009)
How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

Intellectual and Developmental Disability:

Pauline and Paulette (2001)
The Black Balloon (2008)
Mary and Max (2009)
Anita (2009) not on mubi

Physical Illness and Disease:

Ikiru (1952)
Cleo from 5 to 7 / Cleo de 5 a 7 (1962)
Wit (2001)
My Life Without Me (2003)
Pieces of April (2003)
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu / Moartea Domnului Lazarescu (2005)
Poetry / Shi (2010)
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010)

Mental Illness:

Clean, Shaven (1993)
Soul Food (1997)
On the Edge (2001)
Elling (2001)
Helen (2009)
A Single Man (2009)
Melancholia (2011)

Little People:

Willow (1988)
The Station Agent (2003)

Albinism:

Noi the Albino / Noi Albinoi (2003)

Speech Impairment:

Flirting (1991)
The Piano (1993)
A Cat in Paris / Un vie de chat (2010)

Visual Impairment:

Sparsh (1980) not on mubi
Night on Earth (1991)
Beyond Silence / Jenseits der Stille (1996)
The Silence / Sokout (1998)
The Color of Paradise / Rang-e Khoda (1999)

Hearing Impairment:

The Country of the Deaf / Strana Glukhikh (1998)
Read my Lips / Sur mes levres (2001)
Dear Frankie (2004)
Mourning / Soog (2011)

Biopic:

An Angel at My Table (1990)
Frida (2002)
Control (2007)
sex & drugs & rock & roll (2010)

Fantasy:

X-Men (2000)
X2: X-Men United (2003)
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

Various:

Freaks (1932)
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance / Boksuneun Naui Geot (2002)
Finding Nemo (2003)
Be With Me (2005)
Sound Barrier (2005)
Dry Season / Daratt (2006)
Blind (2007)
Brother (1999)
Young Adult (2010)

Non-fictional:

Preservation of the Sign Language (1913)
The House is Black / Khaneh Siah Ast (1963)
Titicut Follies (1967)
Hospital (1970)
Multi-Handicapped (1986)
Deaf (1986)
Adjustment and Work (1986)
Blind (1987)


Living in Oblivion (1995)

[Video is a clip from the film. Conversation is between director, Nick (Steve Buscemi), a young, white man of average stature, and actor, Tito (Peter Dinklage), a young, white man of short stature.
Nick: Tito it’s not that big of a deal. It’s a dream. Strange things happen in a dream. All I want you to do is laugh, why is that such a problem for you?!
Tito: Why does it have to be a dwarf?
Nick: What?!
Tito: Why does my character have to be a dwarf?
Nick: It doesn’t have to be a dwarf-
Tito: Then why is he?! Is that the only way you can make this a dream – put a dwarf in it?!
Nick: No Tito I-
Tito: Have you ever had a dream with a dwarf in it? Do you know anyone who’s had a dream with a dwarf in it? NOOOOOOOOOO!!! I don’t even have dreams with dwarves in them. The only place I’ve seen dwarves in dreams is in stupid movies like this! Ooo make it weird – put a dwarf in it! Everyone will go: woah, woah, woah, there must be a fucking dream there’s a fucking dwarf in it! Well I’m sick of it!!! You can take this dream sequence and shove it up your ass!]


Liebe Perla (1999)

[Video is a clip from the documentary. Conversation is between Perla, a white woman of old age and short stature, and Hanne, a middle-aged white woman of short stature. Conversation starts at 3:58.
Perla: Mengele said: “Do you think I do this out of love? I too have a family at home.” A Son. Wolf Mengele. I know. But he’s no longer alive. He was buried in Uruguay. I have the newspaper clipping. But I can’t say anything bad about him. Just not that.
Hanne: Perla, we don’t agree on this issue. We see it differently.
Perla: Look-
Hanne: No, Perla, I don’t see.
Perla: He wanted to do research and found a whole family. That’s why we survived.
Hanne: Yes.
Perla: I can’t say anything bad about him. When I read in the paper that he had died I cried. I’m telling you the truth.
Hanne: Perla, I understand.
Perla: But for him we’d also have died.
Hanne: Perla, I know what happened in Auschwitz. And I also know that he killed many little people.
Perla: No.
Hanne: Yes.
Perla: No… Hanne we made… Not we. Mengele made a film in which we were completely naked. Without even our underpants. For five hours we stood there like soldiers stark naked. I want you to try and find that film… He always said: “Behind seven mountains I have seven dwarves…”]


Motion Disabled


Out of Sight

[Video is an animated short film. A short young white girl is walking with her small beige dog. A tall white man steals her purse and runs away. The dog runs after him. Girl tries to run after the dog and slams into a wooden fence. Girl feels wind on her legs and discovers a hole in the fence. Girl crawls through the hole into darkness. Things begin to materialize in the darkness as the girl senses them through touch and sound: a wand, water drops, and a building. Dog barks. Girl walks toward sound and walks into what is revealed to be a tree. A metal fence, a bakery, a door, passerby’s, a kitten, a row of houses, a church, cars, and an airplane materialize as the girl senses them through touch, sound, and smell. Dog barks. Girl walks toward sound and finds dog. Girl senses dog is holding her purse through touch. Girl smiles and walks off with dog.]

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