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As Seen On Screen?

May 10, 2013

A press release I’ve just received.




A season of films highlighting representations of d/Deaf and disabled people in partnership with UK Disability History Month



Picturehouse Education are very pleased to present a series of screenings across London  in May and June that begin to explore how disability has been represented in cinema. Focusing on Hollywood dramas that explore love, war, sex and societal attitudes from the 1940’s to today, this selection of films and talks delves into the history of disability on screen.

The AS SEEN ON SCREEN? programme is part of the Access Cinema programme supported by Film London through National Lottery Funding on behalf of the BFI.

The selection of films and talks has been curated by Richard Rieser, Coordinator of the UK Disability History Month and author of the BFI publication ‘Disabling Imagery’.

UKDisability History Month runs from 19th November to 22nd December 2013 and the theme this year is ‘Celebrating Independent Living –No Return to the Institution’. All the films in this season are about challenging stereotypes of disability  that frame how disabled people were treated in the past and still are. The discussions after the films will provide an opportunity to explore these ideas.


The films being screened are:


COMING HOME (18) USA, 1978, 123mins (in English with HOH subtitles)

12th May, 1pm

Clapham Picturehouse

Director: Hal Ashby. Starring: Jon Voight, Jane Fonda, Bruce Dern

Examining the impact of the Vietnam War on the “war at home” among the men who fought it and the women in their lives, COMING HOME focuses on the experiences of a

Marine, the wife he leaves behind to fight in Vietnam and a V.A. hospital patient who has returned from ‘Nam a bitter, angry, and disillusioned paraplegic.

One of the first films to tackle the issue of sex and disability and that of soldiers coming home after fighting in Vietnam, the stunning performances from Fonda and Voight earned them both an Academy Award.

Screened with subtitles

Speaker: Richard Rieser, co-ordinator of UK Disability History Month

CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD (15) 1986, USA, 116mins (in English with HOH subtitles)

Monday 10th June

Greenwich  Picturehouse

Director: Randa Haines. Starring: William Hurt, Marlee Matlin, Piper Laurie

When a speech teacher falls for the custodian in a small New England school for the deaf, their conflicting views on deafness make him question his role and attitude to his students.

Notable not only for its subject matter but for its social context, CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD featured the only deaf actor to win an Oscar – at 21 Marlee Matlin was also the youngest person ever to win the Best Actress Academy Award.

Speaker: Christine O’Mahony, disability equality and diversity expert


THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (U) 1947, USA, 172mins (in English with HOH subtitles)

Sun 16 June, 1pm

Hackney Picturehouse

Director: William Wyler. Starring: Myrna Loy, Fredric March, Dana Andrews

Following three United States servicemen as they try to piece their lives back together and face the changes that they and their families have gone through both physically and mentally after coming home from World War II.

This multi-award winning film (including Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor) is a post-war classic and still relevant to audiences today.

Speaker: Lucy Mason, youth trainer and disability equality campaigner

THE SESSIONS (15) USA, 2012, 95 mins (in English with HOH subtitles)

Thur 13 June, 8.30pm

The Ritzy

 Director: Ben Lewin. Starring: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy

In this sensitively humorous and entertaining film, John Hawkes (WINTER’S BONE) plays a quadriplegic, while Helen Hunt (AS GOOD AS IT GETS) gives arguably her boldest performance yet as the sex therapist he hires to help him lose his virginity.

Speaker: Richard Rieser, co-ordinator of UK Disability History Month



Further Information:                           Leah Byrne



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