[DOCUMENTARY REVIEW] “Crip Camp” details the fight to humanize people with disabilities and how it made the world a better place

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Fair Use Crip Camp

James Lebrecht and Nicole Newnham’s Crip Camp is a beautifully composed documentary about the Disabilities Rights Movement.

James Lebrecht and Nicole Newnham’s Crip Camp is a beautifully composed documentary about the Disabilities Rights Movement. It’s a story about some of the DRM’s trailblazers, and their retaliation against a world that didn’t accept them as human.

The documentary begins at Camp Jened, a place dedicated to providing kids with disabilities a chance to break the confines of imminent isolation, discrimination, and institutionalization. Lebrecht’s filming shines a light on the joy experienced by the kids at Janed; clips of teenagers playing music and swimming, and participating in activities that wouldn’t normally be accessible to them. but the most important thing about Camp Janed is that it’s mentally liberating. By surrounding disabled teenagers with other disabled teenagers the director at Janed was able to normalize each and every unique disability. This allowed the kids to see themselves as more than just their disability; and to actually display their true sarcastic, funny, kind, empathetic selves.

Crip Camp then fast forwards to a few years later, where a majority of the kids who went to Janed reunite in San Fransisco. They convince the government to pass civil rights legislation using different types of peaceful protest, positively changing the lives of millions of people with disabilities, and making the United States significantly safer and more accessible.

Crip Camp has been nominated for an Oscar in 2021, and has received a rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Rating:★★★★★