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Representation of Disability

Representation of Disability

Published in: Health & Medicine

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  • 1. Media Toolkit: Representation of ‘Disability’.
  • 2. Watch the ‘Egg’ short film…….
    • Just note down your reactions to it …….
    • Rate it out of 10:
  • 3. What types of ‘disabilities’ exist?
    • Note them down:
  • 4. How does this short film ‘Cousin’ try to explain cerebral palsy to kids?
    • Does it succeed in its aim?
  • 5. Are we all dis-abled at some point in our lives, in some way?
  • 6. How does ‘Better or Worse?’ deal with eyesight problems?
    • How well does the film work?
  • 7. (1) How many characters with disabilities can you remember from films or TV?
    • (2) How are these disabled characters portrayed
    • in terms of appearance or behaviour?
    • (3) Is it a positive or negative portrayal of someone with a disability?
  • 8. ‘ Murderball’ (2006)
    • “ A life-affirming portrait of the tenacity of the human spirit”
    • Hotdog magazine.
    • As we watch, note down your answers to these questions:
    • How would you describe the disabled characters in this film?
    • Are you surprised by them and their behaviour?
    • How are the audience meant to react to the disabled characters – what emotions do we feel?
    • Does the film have a ‘message’ about disability – if so what?
  • 9. However…….
    • The media
    • re-presentation of people with disabilities has not always been that positive…….
  • 10. In the past…………………..
    • The physical disability is to used to say something about the character’s personality – often negative!
    • E.g. Why are Batman villains always scarred or disabled?
  • 11. And it’s true of James Bond villains too……. Blofeld: Jaws: Dr. No: Scarred face. Bad teeth! Three Nipples.
  • 12. …… .Or does Jaws just have different abilities?
    • How does Jaws actually use his disfigured ‘teeth’ to his advantage in this James Bond Scene?
  • 13. In a ‘For a Few Dollars More’ (1965)…….
    • Sergio Leone made actor Klaus Kinsky into a ‘hunchback’
    • The disability was used to indicate a character that was irredeemably evil .
    • Question: Is this offensive?
  • 14. In ‘Richard III’ (1996) the ‘hunchback’ main character was:
    • Ruthless.
    • Calculating.
    • And a Nazi too!
    • Question: Does disability
    • in a film always mean a bitter
    • or evil character?
  • 15. ‘ The Hustler’ (1961)
    • In the classic film ‘The Hustler’ a girl played by Piper Laurie has a disability – a limp.
    • However, this is linked to other aspects of her personality:
    • She is an emotional ‘cripple’.
    • She drinks too much.
    • She has no aim or purpose in life.
    • The physical limp underscores her emotional failings .
    • ( In many films a limp is used to indicate a deficient character, a loser).
  • 16. Still, if they try hard enough, the disabled can succeed?
    • Become a famous writer.
    • ‘ My Left Foot’ (1989)
    • Life of Christy Brown.
    • Fight off the German Luftwaffe .
    • ‘ Reach for the Sky’ (1956)
    • Life of Douglas Bader.
    • Question:
    • But is it all down to the disabled to put in the effort?
  • 17. Are there other ways to represent disability?
    • How does the use of a wheelchair affect our perceptions of Patrick Stewart’s character Charles Xavier, in ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’?
    • Does it make any difference, or not?
    • Is this a positive re-presentation of disability, or not?
  • 18. And what about this……