Books and Movies Reviews

Mental Retardation in the Movies

Movies have both positive and negative influences on how society views mentally challenged people. They educate non-challenged people by showing that those with challenges are just like everyone else; they might just need an extra hand. For those with challenges, the movies can inspire or discourage them. Recently there have been more movies directed toward this important subject.
Historically movies avoided the mentally challenged. They focused on wars, the west and musicals. Moviesfirst started out in black and white and were just visual with no sound. From then they have come really far being able to add not only color and sound but computer animations.
There are two movies which will be discussed concerning the positive and negative aspects of the mentally challenged in movies. "The Other Sister" and "Radio" show both sides of how society views the mentally challenged.
In the movie "The Other Sister" the two main characters are mentally retarded. Carla is a young woman who has and over-protective mother. She was released from and institution and desires to attend a junior college to become a vet assistant. Carla has to convince her mother that she is capable of this responsibility.
It is at college where Carla meets Danny. He is employed in a demeaning job in the band department but he enjoys it. The two fall in love but have to put up with their parents who do not believe they know what love is. They also "become the butts of some cruel treatment" by others in society.
This movie shows how the mentally challenged experience emotions in their everyday life just like everyone else.
In this movie Carla and Danny show that people with mental retardation can live independently, have a job, fall in love and get married.
On the other hand, the parents of Carla are trying to show that she is not ready to go out into the world. They dress Carla up in an absurd costume for a so…


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