Los Angeles, CA, Feb. 9 – Much of the conversation about disability during the 2021 Sundance Film Festival centers around a few films of importance – including CODA, 4 Feet High and Wiggle Room. But, it also is important to note that several other films included casual inclusion of disability, which also help to normalize having a disability in society.
For example, a montage of people getting dressed in “Life in a Day 2020” included a close up of a person pulling on clothing over an amputated leg. A high school student talks about having a learning disability in “Homeroom,” noting that she was not diagnosed until high school due to lack of school resources. “Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street” briefly touches on Jon Stone’s depression. Nearly 90 minutes in, viewers learn that Amy Tan in “Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir” has lyme disease and epilepsy, in addition to depression. And in “Jockey,” there is a short discussion on living on disability, especially when you have a family.
With one-in-five people having a disability in the U.S. today, the lack of representation – just 2.3 percent of characters in the 100 top-grossing films of 2019 and 8 percent in family films – means that millions of people are unable to see themselves reflected in media. While none of the films mentioned above are about disability, the casual inclusion of disability in them is important. [continue reading…]