Crip Camp and Special (review)

Crip Camp and Special (review)
Crip Camp and Special (review)
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CRIP CAMP (Netflix)


While Tiger King is the reigning doc on Netflix, this one covers a more compassionate and political subject. The first 30 minutes feature footage from the ’60s and ’70s of a special camp for teens with disabilities. Even though the video is sometimes sloppy, that just adds to the charm of this cheery group who enjoys their summer together and talks about their lives. The final hour takes place in the subsequent years, when some of the attendees lead the movement to pass the ADA (which didn’t actually happen until 1990). Their struggle for acceptance and equality is documented with lots of period news footage and current-day interviews. A film covering the disabled could go for the cheap emotional angle, but this well-crafted doc emphasizes the joy and strength of its characters. That being said, the Capital steps scene (among others) are bound to swell the emotions. Informative, as well as remarkable. 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)


SPECIAL (Netflix)


This comedy series (released last year) covers a similar subject. It’s created by and stars Ryan O’Connell in a largely-autobiographical comedy about his life. He was unashamedly gay, but in the closet about his cerebral palsy (he told his friends he was hit by a truck). As he navigates life on how own, we’re treated to a delightfully sweet character with little self-pity, but plenty of self-depreciating humor. His best friend is (Punam Patel) makes sassy sidekick. At only nine 15-minute episodes, this is an easily-digestible and completely charming little comedy with an big underlying message. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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