Crip Camp

Crip Camp ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Directors: James LebrechtNicole Newnham. Cast: Larry AllisonDennis BillupsWilliam Bronston

Netflix is bound to go all the way to the Oscars with this beautiful heart-warming, inspirational and illuminating documentary.

Executive produced by Barack and Michelle Obama, this is really a piece of history we don’t hear enough about.

It’s a film of two halves. The first part centres around the ‘Crip Camp’ from the title (Camp Jened is the real name): a sort of hippie summer camp for 20something handicapped people where back in the 60s and 70s they’re all able to experience what real freedom actually is and where the idea to create a movement for equal rights for disabled people (‘crippled’ is the term used over and over… clearly showing how times have changed) generated from. The treasure trove of archive footage to support this section is spectacular, uncensored, honest, joyous (There’s a wonderful moment where they talk about an infestation of gonorrhoea which is just hilarious).

And when there isn’t any specific archive to show, the makers cleverly integrate evocative footage from the time which perfectly captures the mood.

Then about half way through, the film changes gear, opens up and the small story of this incredible group of campers becomes an historical document about the national movement partly initiated by them to bring about equal rights for disabled, from simple things like easy access to building or public transport to more serious thing like access to schools and so on.

By the time the ending comes along their success story feels a bit forced: sadly we know there’s a lot more to be done, but considering where it all started from, there’s still a lot to celebrate. The final 5 minutes are both uplifting and very moving at the same time.

The beauty of this film is its ability to always bring a smile on its audience, never really dwelling on the sadness which in theory one would think (wrongly) comes with the subject. 

Inspirational. Bravo Netflix.

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One Response to Crip Camp

  1. Pingback: #AMovieADay – 2020 | MovieGeekBlog

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