disABILITIES film festival
Goodnight, Liberation (2003) is a 7-minute video concerning Oriana Bolden who’s “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” A thoroughly disgusted woman, she struggles to afford her life-saving medications. Bolden has a website (LINK HERE) to answer questions as to why she has to live the way she does.
Whole: A Trinity of Being (2004) is a trilogy of shorts by the South African artist, Shelly Barry, that examines aspects of her life after she was disabled by a bullet: “Pin Pricks” approaches the impact of change; “Voice/Over” brings home the importance of speaking out about violence, trauma, love and survival; and “Entry” deals with a media that’s unable or unwilling to recognize people with disabilities as passionate and sexual beings.
A World Without Bodies (2001) is a 35-minute eye-spinner by Sharon Snyder and David Mitchell, about the systematic slaughter of more than 240,000 disabled individuals during World War II. It points to the eugenic ideology carried out in Germany, where unsuspecting victims were taken in black busses to ‘death hospitals.’ A surviving nurse from one of them says she was just doing as she was told and asked no questions…remember that the next time you’re called in for a medical exam.
Tod Browning’s Freaks (1932) was on hand to provide its unique perspective on disability. Perhaps someone should suggest Michael Winner’s The Sentinel (1977) for the next festival.
Vital Signs: Crip Culture Talks Back (1995) is a 48-minute look at the intensity, variety and vitality of disability culture today. Another raw, thought-provoking work by David Mitchell and Sharon Snyder, it may be the oddest film of the entire festival. The Jerry Lewis Telethon and Gary Sinise’s special effect legless vet in Forrest Gump are objected to. Performance art by Mary Duffy (a living, breathing Venus de Milo) and an insane story related by activist/performer Sheryl Marie Wade about being dragged from a movie theatre for blocking an aisle with her wheelchair supply mental imagery that’s not easily forgotten.
For information on next October’s festival, click here.
— Jacques Corédor