7/10 Nominated for Best Documentary at the Academy Awards, “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution” has its strength in highlighting a story about all kinds of handicapped people, who society has largely marginalized and often rarely acknowledges, especially in Hollywood. I would almost rename this documentary just “A Disability Revolution” and drop the “Crip Camp” since the summer camp for crippled people is only a small portion of the film and our way of introducing everyone. I assumed that most of the film would take place there but the camp is only our jumping off point. What this is actually about is the fight for rights for handicapped people in America. For a long time, buildings were not built to be accessible to the handicapped. Door frames weren’t wide enough for wheelchairs, there were no ramps, bathrooms were impossible to use, etc. When legislation was passed, it wasn’t even enforced or enacted. American disability civil rights activist Judith Heumann lead the charge and mobilized groups to lobby Congress on their behalf, participate in peaceful protest, enact sit-ins, etc. Her courage and perseverance, along with the help she received is what lead to historic changes being made in America. The film has some depressing elements but they are important in highlighting some of the inhumane treatment that handicapped people widely received. Many were outcast and thrown into facilities that didn’t have the capacity to care for them so they became victims of neglect and sometimes even abuse. Despite America’s historical problems in how it has treated these people, it is also important to note the progress that has been made and also focus on all of the positive steps forward that we’ve made as a country and culturally in society. My biggest problem with this film is that it does go on a bit too long. At nearly two hours, the film does drag in certain spots and some editing could have trimmed the fat to make this a tighter film. There were definitely a few scenes that go on a little too long. Nothing major to bring down the film but it impacted the pacing. The film is rated R for language and I almost with they could have taken some of it out to bring it down to a PG-13 rating, if only so the film would be more accessible to a wider audience. Luckily overall this is an important and informative film with a perfect, emotional ending. While I have yet to see all of the Best Documentary films nominated, this one certainly earned its nomination.
#LadyAndTheRamp / #TheCripsAndTheStuds / #TheCripKeeper / #CripCampOut / #YouGottaFightForYourRightToPotty / #WheelChairmanOfTheBoard

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