Selected Deaf and Deafness, Chronic Illness and Disability Videos Available  from the TESC Library,  TESC Access Services and the Timberland Regional Library








Available at the TESC Library


Title:  A Paralyzing Fear: The Story of Polio in America

Call Number:  RA644.P9P37 1998

Producer or Director:  Nina Gilden Seavey

A documentary history of polio in the US, from arrival in 1916 through the epidemic to Dr. Jonas Salk’s vaccine. Shows responses from various aspects of society, to a frightening disease.


Title: Bill T. Jones: still/ here/ with Bill Moyers

Call Number:  GV1785.J66B55 1997 
Producer or Director
:  Bill Moyers and David Grubin

PBS documentary on the making of Still/Here, a production by the  Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company focused on stories and movements of people with life-threatening illnesses. Still/Here ignited a controversy in the art world, begun by critic Arlene Croce, about the making of so-called “victim art.”

Title: Cancer in Two Voices

Call Number:  RC280.B8 B853  1993
Producer or Director:
Lucy Massie Phenix, based on original videotapes by Ann Hershey

Documents three years in the lives of Barbara Rosenblum and partner Sandra Butler, as Barbara was dying of cancer. Unusually open on a number of topics, including anger, coping, relationship to body and sexuality, and caregiving.


Title: The Chariot Races

Call Number:  GV709.3.C43 1997
Producer or Director:: Christian Schneider
Paralympic Gold Medallist ski racer John Davis is also a pioneer in the sport of off-road wheelchair racing. Action footage.


Title: Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter

Call Number:  RC523.C66  1994
Producer or Director
Deborah Hoffmann

This Academy Award-nominated film documents 84 year old Doris Hoffmann’s experience of Alzheimer's. Director and producer Deborah Hoffmann, Hoffmann’s daughter, relies on gentle humor to offset the distressing reality of this disease.  Also addresses caregiving from a geographical distance, and the difficult decision to institutionalize a relative.


Title: Dancing from the Inside Out

Call Number:  GV 1799.2.D36 1994
Producer or Director
Thais Mazur & Sarah Shockley
Profiles three disabled members of The AXIS Dance Troupe, which employs both disabled and non-disabled dancers.


Title: Delirium

Call Number:  RC451.4.W6 D45 1993
Producer or Director: Mindy Faber

Through interviews with her mother and the sharing of her own experiences as her mother’s daughter, Faber examines delirium and its relationship to the roles and position of women in an oppressive society.


Title: Disability Culture Rap

Call Number:  HV1568.D57 2000
Producer or Director
:: Cheryl Wade, Jerry Smith
Features poet/activist/performer Cheryl Marie Wade, one of the founders of
Wry Crips Disabled Women’s Theatre.


Title: Funny, You Don't Look Sick

Call Number:  RB152.6.F86 1995

Producer or Director:: Susan Abod and Lisa Pontoppidan

Susan Abod lives with Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS; also called Environmental Illness). The video focuses on daily life and necessary adaptations. Realistic, with a gentle use of humor.


Title: In the Land of the Deaf

Call Number:  HV2395.I5 1995
Producer or Director
Nicolas Philibert, Thierry Roisin

Portraits of deaf people (including a woman once considered mentally ill because she couldn’t hear, and a newly-wed couple) that reveal deaf culture and experience. In French and French sign-language, with English subtitles.

Title: Poetry in Motion

Call Number:  PS3572.A395P64 1990

Producer or Director:  One of a series of ASL poetry tapes produced by Sign Media

Original poetry in American Sign Language, created and performed by Clayton Valli. No voice-over.


Title: Sound and Fury

Call Number:  HV2391.S68 2002

Producer or Director:  Roger Weisberg, Josh Aronson

Members of a large, three-generation family with deaf and hearing members deal with the fact that technology can help deaf people hear while it also threatens deaf culture and family ties. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary.


Title: Vital Signs: Crip Culture Talks Back

Call Number:  HV1553.V58 1998
Producer or Director
David Mitchell

Interviews with and performances by disabled artists, writers, and scholars give a sense of the emerging disability culture.





Available from TESC Access Services (located in Library 1407D)


Title: King Gimp
Producer or Director: Susan Hannah Hadary and William A. Whiteford

Documents the life of Dan Keplinger, who was born with cerebral palsy. The film won an Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject in 2000.

Title: Liebe Perla
Producer or Director: Sharhar Rozen

A look at the brutality toward and murder of disabled people in Nazi Germany.


Title: Look Who’s Laughing
Producer or Director
Randy J. Johnson

Stars six comedians who bring their disabilities on stage. Shot at various US comedy clubs.


Title: When Billy Broke His Head . . . and Other Tales of Wonder
Producer or Director
Billy Golfus and David E. Simpson

Billed as an “irreverent, first person road movie,” this video is by award-winning journalist Bill Golfus – who put it together after being brain injured in a traffic accident. Documents part of the disability rights movement, with passion and humor.



Available From Timberland Regional Library


Timberland carries a number of films on chronic illness and disability, including a fairly broad section on mental illness. Search the catalog by the name of the condition. Of special note is Breathing Lessons, an unusually candid film about journalist and poet Mark O'Brien, who spent most of his life in an iron lung after polio paralyzed him. 




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Last updated on December 4, 2003.