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Movies on People with Disabilities

Samuel Baltazar Batara

As SPED Center Coordinator, I oversee a group which promotes advocacies for


wider and more empathic understanding on the part of the able community toward
the cause and plight of young people with special needs. A very handy tool is
video viewing which can graphically illustrate the fact that special conditions
should not hinder full adaptation to a rather stigmatized society. Here is a list of
films to show for guided discussion purposes:

…First Do No Harm 1999 (Epilepsy)


A Beautiful Mind 2002 (Schizophrenia)
All the Little Animals 1999 (Brain-Damaged Adolescent)
Anastasia 1956 (Amnesia)
As Good As It Gets 1998 (Obsessive-compulsive disorder)
As Good as It Gets 2005 (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Asthma)
At First Sight 1999 (Blindness)
Awakenings 1990 (Catatonic from Encephalitis Epidemic)
Babel 2007 (Deafness)
Backstreet Dreams 1990 (Autism)
Being There 1979 (Confused, Aimless)
Benny & Joon 1993 (Mentally Challenged)
Best Boy 1979 (Mentally Challenged)
Best Man 1997 (Mentally Challenged with Determination)
Beyond Silence 1998 (Deaf parents)
Blind Fury 1989 (Blind)
Born on the 4th of July 1989 (Lost Leg)
Boys Next Door 1996 (Mentally Challenged)
Change of Habit 1969 (Autism)
Charly 2004 (Mentally Challenged)
Children of a Lesser God 1986 (Deafness)
Clean Slate 1994 (Amnesia)
Cube 1997 (Autism)
Dance to My Song 1998 (Cerebral Palsy)
Dancer in the Dark 2000 (Visual Impairment)
Darius Goes West 2006 (Muscular Dystrophy)
Dark Victory 1939 (Brain Tumor)
David’s Mother 1994 (Autism)
Dead Again 1991 (Amnesia)
Digging to China1998 (Childlike, Mentally Ill)
Dirty Filthy Love 2005 (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Tourette's Syndrome)
Dominick and Eugene 1988 (Little Slowness due to an Accident in his Youth)
Donny Darko 2001 (Mental Illness)
Door to Door 2002 (Cerebral Palsy)
Down in the Delta 1998 (Drug and alcohol)
Evan Almighty 2007 (Mid-life crisis)
Fearless 1993 (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Finding Nemo 2003 (Developmental Disability)
Forrest Gump 1994 (Physical and Mental Disabilities)
Forrest Gump 2001 (Developmental Disability, Spinal Cord Injury, Loss of Limbs)
Freaks 1990 (Developmental Disabilities)
Garbo Talks 1984 (Brain Tumor)
Girl, Interrupted 2004 (Mental Illness)
Heart of the Dragon 1985 (Mentally-Challenged)
House of Cards 1993 (Autism)
House of D 2004 (Relationships Unraveled due to an Incident)
I am Sam 2002 (Mentally Challenged)
Identity 2003 (Psychological Tensions)
Immortal Beloved 1994 (Deafness)
Introducing Dorothy Dandridge 1999 (Mental Retardation)
It is Fine! Everything is Fine! 2007 (Cerebral Palsy)
Jacknife 1989 (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Killer Diller 2004 (Autism)
K-Pax 2001 (Emotionally Painful History, Deluded Mind)
Little Man Tate 1991 (Autism)
Little Voice 1998 (Autism)
Lorenzo’s Oil 1992 (Adrenoleukodystrophy)
Mask 1985 (Craniodiaphyseal Dyaplasia)
Matchstick Men 2003 (Obsessive-Compulsive Con Artist)
Memento 2000 ((Amnesia, Anterograde Memory Dysfunction (AMD))
Mercury Rising 1998 (Autism)
Miracle Run 2004 (Autism)
Molly 1999 (Autism)
Monkey Shines 1988 (Quadriplegic Paralysis)
Mozart and the Whale 2006 (Asperger's Syndrome)
Mr. Blue Sky 2009 (Down Syndrome)
Mr. Holland's Opus 1995 (Deafness)
My Left Foot 2005 (Cerebral Palsy)
My Sister’s Keeper 2009 (Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia)
Nell 1995 (Autism)
Of Mice and Men 1992 (Mentally Challenged)
One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest 1997 (Mental Illness)
Passion Fish 1992 (Paralysis)
Phenomenon 1996 (Brain Tumor)
Pi 1998 (Insanity)
Pumpkin 2002 (Mental and Physical Disabilities)
Quest for Camelot 1998 (Blindness)
Radio 2004 (Learning Disabilities)
Rain Man 2004 (Autism)
Ray 2005 (Blindness)
Rear Window 1998 (Wheelchair bound)
Relative Fear1994 (Autism)
Rory O’Shea Was Here 2004 (Cerebral Palsy)
Roxanne 1987 (Undesirable Physical Features)
Rudy 1993 (Learning difficulty)
Run Wild, Run Free 1969 (Autism)
Scent of a Woman 1992 (Blindness)
See No Evil, Hear No Evil 1989 (Deaf and Blind)
Shine1996 (Trauma and Breakdown)
Silence (also known as Crazy Jack and The Boy) 1974 (Autism)
Silent Fall 1994 (Autism)
Simon Birch 1998 (Dwarfism)
Slingblade 1996 (Mentally Challenged)
Sneakers 1992 (Blindness)
Snow Cake 2007 (Autism)
Sound and Fury 2000 (Deafness)
Speak 2005 (Mutism)
Spellbound 1945 (Amnesia)
Steel Magnolias 2000 (Diabetes)
The Aviator 2005 (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
The Boy Who Could Fly 1986, 2003 (Autism)
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly 2007 (Locked-in Syndrome, Paralysis)
The Dream Team 1989 (Psychiatric Patients – Megalomaniac)
The Elephant Man1980 (Severely Deformed)
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser 1975 (Gifted & Talented)
The Horse Whisperer 1998 (Severe Injuries)
The Kid Brother 1987 (Severely Underdeveloped Legs)
The Lookout 2007 (Brain Injury)
The Loretta Claiborne Story 2000 (Physically Challenged)
The Louisiana Sky 2002 (Learning Difficulty)
The Men1950 (Paralysis)
The Mighty 1998 (Morquio's Syndrome and Learning Disabilities)
The Miracle Worker 1962, 1979, 2000 (Blind and Dumb)
The Other Side of the Mountain 1975 (Polio, Paralysis)
The Other Sister 1999 (Mental Retardation)
The Piano 1999 (Deafness and Speech Impairment)
The Pit 1981 (Autism)
The Savages 2007 (Dementia)
The Secret Garden 1993 (Disability)
The Smallest People in the World 2006 (Dwarfism)
The Station Agent 2004 (Dwarfism)
The Wild Child 2001 (Feralism)
The Wizard 1986 (Mental Disorder)
Tideland 2006 (Girl Trapped in an Eerie Fantasy World, a Retarded Brother)
Tim 1997 (Mildly Retarded Young Handyman)
Tropic Thunder 2008 (Mentally Challenged)
Wait Until Dark 1967 (Blind)
What Is It? 2005 (Cerebral Palsy)
What's Eating Gilbert Grape 2006 (Mentally Challenged)
When the Bough Breaks 1993 (Autism)
When the Whales Came 1989 (Deafness)
Who Am I? 1998 (Amnesia)
Who are the DeBolts? (And Where did They Get 19 Kids?) 1977 (Physically
Challenged, Blind Paraplegic)
Yarn Princess 1994 (Slightly Mentally Challenged)