Friday, January 20, 2012

One Question and Willowbrook: the Last Great Disgrace

Anthony Di Salvo, director of Sproutflixreviews two movies in the Winter 2012 issue of Apostrophe.

One Question
7 ½ minutes
 During a film festival for people with developmental disabilities, 35 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities were asked the same single question:
  If you can change one thing about yourself, what would you change?
  This short film, directed and edited by Anthony Di Salvo, consists of the answers each person gave. Interestingly, when making this film. He also asked many “non-disabled” people the same question. It was clear to me that the answers given by these two groups were drastically different.
  The answers given by the “non-disabled” were very superficial:
  “I want to be two inches taller.” 
  “I want to be less shy.”
  “More money.”
  The answers given by people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) were on a completely different level. I decided to include only the people with I/DD in the final film. At a recent screening, a person with many years of experience working in the field stated: “This film is a confirmation as to why I work in this field.”
  Another unique element in the making of this film is that the production crew included eight people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It was wonderful having the sound, lighting, camera and interviewing all be executed by people with I/DD.
Willowbrook: the Last
Great Disgrace
28 minutes

 Focusing on an institution located in Staten Island, N.Y., this film, with reporter Geraldo Rivera, was one of the first exposés on local television. As a result of its airing on WABC-TV, the manner in which people with disabilities were treated changed forever.
  As the producers were putting the documentary together, they located a piece of film shot 10 years earlier of Robert F. Kennedy after he completed a tour of Willowbrook.
  He said, “Willowbrook was a disgrace.” Despite Kennedy’s anger and compassion, nothing was done about it.
  Albert T. Primo led the news team at WABC-TV that forever changed treatment for people with mental retardation with his Peabody Award-winning series with Rivera, “Willowbrook: The Last Great Disgrace.”
He also created the eyewitness news format, which revolutionized broadcast journalism. He has been on the leading edge of television developing regional news formats for cable television and building an independent production company that provides programming for networks, television stations and cable systems.

No comments:

Post a Comment