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Posts Tagged ‘movies about disabilities

“Music Within” Film Portrays the Cerebral Palsy Experience, Tells the Tale of the Birth of the ADA

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by Treadmarkz

I saw a preview last weekend for a film that came out last year. I’d never heard about it until I saw this preview, but based on the preview I wanted to share some information about it. It is called “Music Within”. Based on a true story, the film is about a deaf man, played by Ron Livingston, and his friend who has cerebral palsy, played by Michael Sheen. The story is about how these two men and a group of friends set about to change people’s perceptions about people with disabilities, and along the way play an important role in the creation of the ADA, and the improvement in hiring practices involving those with disabilities.

Since the preview seemed to focus on the man with cerebral palsy, my first impression was the realization that I am in a wheelchair, with spina bifida, but I know very little about many other disabilities, especially cerebral palsy, and I really wish I did. I try to be empathetic toward those with disabilities which take more from them than mine takes from me. For that matter, I don’t understand what it is like to be deaf either. I suppose we think we can understand that just by covering our ears, but imagine covering your ears 24/7…My point is that I am certain that I don’t understand completely.

Then I found out that Michael Sheen is not disabled, so my second impression was that I wished that his character had been played by an actor who really had cerebral palsy. But then I realized, through some level-headed debate with my wife, that this is what makes Sheen an “actor”. He is acting as a person with cerebral palsy.

I just thought the story would be that much more moving had the character with cerebral palsy been played by someone who knew exactly what it was like to have it. But I trust that Sheen did a sufficient amount of research for the part, as serious actors often do.

I am going to try to get my hands on a copy of “Music Within” so I can understand, and learn more about the ADA. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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“Lorenzo’s Oil” Boy Dead 20 Years Later Than Doctors Predicted

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by Treadmarkz

Lorenzo Odone, the subject of the 1992 film “Lorenzo’s Oil” has died, more than two decades after his doctors said he would succumb to ALD, an “incurable nerve disease” which left Odone blind and in a vegetative state. Read the story of his life and death here, where it is better put than I could try to rewrite it.

But the most important fact of Lorenzo’s life is that he lived well beyond the point that his doctors, the supposed experts, said he would. Which just goes to show, again, and I can’t stress it enough, that you can only place so much importance on what the doctors say if you have a child with, or you yourself have a disability or a life-threatening disorder or disease. Doctors only know so much. They only know what they have seen, and what they have seen defines the odds they give their patients, and at some point or another, someone like Lorenzo is going to come along and defy the odds by leaps and bounds.
And as you will read in this story, Lorenzo had parents who did fantastic things to give him a life that was above and beyond what was expected.

The Oscar nominated film of Lorenzo’s life starred Susan Sarandon and Nick Nolte.