Real Talkies

Real Talkies

Every cut is a lie. It’s never that way. Those two shots were never next to each other in time that way. But you’re telling a lie in order to tell the truth. –Wolf Koenig.

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January 28, 2011 ,


In 1996, “Unforgotten” was made about the horrific conditions under which people with mental retardation were kept in Willowbrook State School, a state supported institution in Staten Island, New York City. Geraldo Riveria exposed the deplorable conditions in the institution in 1972 and 15 years later secondary to public outcry the institution was finally shut down.  Families with children with special needs sent their children to these institutions and the children were treated worse than animals. Robert Kennedy called it a snake pit. Experiments and controversial medical studies were conducted at such institutions.

The trailer of the film is truly unbearably melodramatic but the film is a must see. The film can be really shocking and the images might be a bit hard for some of the readers to deal with, so be prepared. Fast forward to 2010, Monica and David is a documentary about two individuals with down syndrome who fall in love and have decided to spend the rest of their lives with each other.

Monica and David still need a lot of help from their families and communities around them but the societies have become far more inclusive than the days of institutionalized homes for people with special needs. It is not to say that all the issues for people with special needs are fixed and they have none to worry about in America. But the shift in attitude, support and focus is so profound that it has to be acknowledged.

If not for the work of those parents who wanted better for their children, those tireless advocates and activists who knew these children had far greater capacity and all those children who demanded to be treated right, this would not be a reality today.


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1 notes

  1. Tweets that mention “UNFORGOTTEN” TO “MONICA & DAVID” « Real Talkies -- reblogged this and added:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sam, Chithra Jeyaram. Chithra Jeyaram said: “UNFORGOTTEN” TO “MONICA & DAVID” […]

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