Tuesday, 7 December 2010

G322 TV Drama: Representation - Disability

Below is a more condensed version of the BFI report on how disability is represented in film, called "Stereotypes of Disability".
The document explains how disable people are commonly represented in film.
Read carefully and thoroughly, as it might be helpful to you in identifying key features of stereotypes such as listed below:

  • The Hero: bravery stereotype
  • The Villain: freak stereotype
  • Tragic Figure: victim stereotype 
  • Ugly.  

View the clips from the award winning film  "The Miracle Worker" 1962. The representation of the early meeting between Helen keller and her governess was interesting and shocking for it's rawness  
the family indulged her. The expectation of her abilities was possibly less. 

Ann Sullivan recognised that much of the girls behaviour was wilfulness and not lack of ability even though her disability was severe.

The film ‘Born of the 4th of July’ shows Tom Cruise playing the young Ken Kovic and how he is treated in hospital and the reactions of his family when he returns home.
View the clip and look at the production codes (film language i.e. close up, low angle etc) to analyse how he is being represented and how others in the scene are responding to him.
Does the way he is represented fall into the categories at the top of this posting? 


The clip of the film "Notting Hill" we see friends dining together. Watch the clip through 2 or 3 times and then write bullet points of how the disabled character is represented.
Is she being shown in a different way then disabled people are more usually represented in film? If so explain why you think she is. 

Click on the link to hear David Proud (the wheelchair bound character in Eastenders) discuss the representation of his character on the soap.

Disability representation on Eastenders

Click on the link to read the document on disability and film.
film and disability

Which stereotypical categories would you say the characters in the following clips fall into?
Give your reasons why.

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