Pushing Limits

Disability Goes To the Movies

Kristen Lopez

Is disability as portrayed in American popular cinema slowly transforming itself?

Are filmmakers getting away from the good old days when a person with a disability was often viewed as a friendly, intellectually-challenged creature to be cuddled and protected because us disabled folk could not fend for ourselves or offer gifts to society? Are popular films breaking away from the usual Hollywood mushy, exploitative treatment of disability in films like the 1957, “An Affair to Remember?”

And furthermore, is the film industry questioning the knee jerk idea that disability equals evil?

Freelance film critic Kristen Lopez takes up these topics and more with Eddie Ytuarte and Alysha Chadow.

Kristen Lopez is a Sacramento disabled freelance film critic and essayist whose work has appeared on The Hollywood Reporter, The Daily Beast, RogerEbert.com, and TCM.

She’s the creator of two podcasts, Citizen Dame and Ticklish Business which allow her to indulge her love of feminism and film. She says she spends far too much time on her Twitter page @Journeys_Film and adds, “The Little Mermaid – yes, I’m arguing that’s a narrative about a woman with disabilities.”

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