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5 Must-See Films About People with Disabilities

Written by: Iris

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Entertainment is a fundamental part of our lives. Hundreds of years ago, people were already able to get a form of diversion through a wide range of pursuits. Regardless if it was a court dancing, watching pantomimes, or partaking in pole vaulting, there's always a combination of amusement and insights that those activities provided individuals and even people with disability before. One of the much-loved types of entertainment were the theatrical performances, which immensely shaped the movie industry of today. In this day and age, there's a huge array of different movie genres, ready to be enjoyed, critiqued and even mocked. Anyhow, these reactions only go to show that movies educate us, tickling our imagination and stimulating our logic to agree or refute what has been conveyed.


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Movies are reflections of life; of cultures and histories, of ideas and incongruities, so it is quite impossible not to gain any knowledge or awareness, even from the worst-ranked films of all time. No matter how exceptional or poor a film is identified, chances are, there will always be something that the audience discovers - an information or a realization. Perhaps, a part of it may echo something from the past or maybe there's an element of irony in it that allows them to ascertain things. Nonetheless, film-viewing is cathartic- you laugh, you cry, you become inspired or get agitated. While several films express factual information, they also display the blissful facets and painful struggles of life.


Speaking of inspiration, below are five of the most amazing films that are themed on disability, beautifully crafted to give motivation in finding meaning in one's life, and the strength to know that living, in spite of everything, is beautiful.


  1. The Intouchables

Funny and moving, this film is about the friendship between a rich man with disability and his carer. Philippe had a paragliding accident, which left him quadriplegic. He then hires Driss as his live-in carer. From then on, they became closer. Driss devotedly help Philippe on his daily tasks, and Philippe supported Driss on his interest on arts. This movie shows that the most special friendships are formed by two absolutely different people, sharing the same kindness and compassion.


  1. Blind

A Dutch film focusing on romance and drama, it is about the love story of an Albino woman and a wealthy, blind man. Ruben lost his eyesight in childhood. His mother hired Marie, an Albino woman who has an exquisite voice, to read books to her son. As they live together in the mansion, they fell in love with each other, not knowing what is ahead of them if Ruben recovers from blindness. Well-written and poignant, prepare your hanky for this film.


  1. The Other Sister

A romantic and comedy movie that's geared up to inspire and motivate, The Other Sister is a story of a mentally-challenged and determined girl, Carla. Upon graduating from a boarding school, she seeks independence and wants to show her affluent parents that she can be self-sufficient. Her overprotective mom gets uncomfortable when topics about Carla’s plans are discussed, showing no confidence on her capabilities. Carla then got to prove herself when she was able to live in her own apartment. She then meets Daniel, also a mentally-challenged student. Together they fell in love and yet to demonstrate to everyone that they can certainly live a normal, productive life.


  1. My Flesh and Blood

The award-winning documentary film that tackles pure, unconditional love, My Flesh and Blood, is about the Tom family. Susan Tom adopted 11 children with special needs and long-term diseases, who have been neglected by their birth parents. The documentary comprehensively shows the challenges that Susan faces in managing her household and dealing with the physical and emotional needs of her children, and the coping with the dreadful reality that some of them may not live long enough to reach adulthood. With how honest and provocative My Flesh and Blood was presented, it's truly worthy of its Sundance Film Festival award.


  1. The Miracle Worker

A television remake of the 1962 and 1979 films about the classic play written by William Gibson, the Miracle Worker is about the struggles and great efforts of Annie Sullivan in teaching Helen Keller, a deaf, blind and mute girl. Helen lost her senses from a childhood disease. Although her parents love Helen, they believe her ability to learn how to communicate and behave is hopeless. Before sending her to an asylum, her parents made a final attempt and hired Annie, a visually impaired teacher to handle Helen. Annie was able to develop a method to educate Helen how to commune, and was able to help her feel and appreciate the beauty of the world, despite her blindness. A pleasing and charismatic film, watching a film about the inspirational life of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan will never be tiring.


It's refreshing to know that a mere film-viewing could inspire us in so many ways! These days, there are numerous story plots that are silhouetted by technology and production innovations; and mindboggling, complex themes being developed using CGIs and the latest computer animations. They leave us wordless, yet we can never deny the fact that no matter how intricately structured these films are, it's how the depiction of the virtues of life that ultimately tugs at our hearts.


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Are there films that you have in mind worth checking out? Please share them with us below. Comment on and also check ClubMates Travel’s holidays for people with disability!


*Primary Image Source: angelika via photopin (license)