Crip Camp (2019)

Crip Camp (2019)
7.8
  • 1864
  • R
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release year: 2019 ()
  • Running time: \N min
  • Original Title: Crip Camp
  • Voted: 1864

In the early 1970s, teenagers with disabilities faced a future shaped by isolation, discrimination and institutionalization. Camp Jened, a ramshackle camp "for the handicapped" in the Catskills, exploded those confines. Jened was their freewheeling Utopia, a place with summertime sports, smoking and makeout sessions awaiting everyone, and campers who felt fulfilled as human beings. Their bonds endured as they migrated West to Berkeley, California - a promised land for a growing and diverse disability community - where friends from Camp Jened realized that disruption and unity might secure life-changing accessibility for millions. Co-directed by Emmy?-winning filmmaker Nicole Newnham and film mixer and former camper Jim LeBrecht, this joyous and exuberant documentary arrives the same year as the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, at a time when the country's largest minority group still battles daily for the freedom to exist. CRIP CAMP: A DISABILITY REVOLUTION is ...

#PersonCharacters
  • Uplifting and Beautifully Done by 10

    Wow. What an amazing story this was documenting the struggles and lives of the disabled in America culminating with Bush number 1 signing the Americans with Dissabilities Act (ADA). Beginning with the story of a camp for the disabled which empowered and planted the seeds in the activists minds to their powerful marathons of trying to get the US government to listen to them. This documentary was so well done with beautiful, heartfelt and at times heartbreaking video footage of the lives of these warriors fighting for just the opportunity to live normal lives and contribute to society. No wonder this brought down the house at Sundance. It is an art piece dedicated to those who society shunned rising up to change the world for everyone. It was beautiful. Just sit back and let them tell the story. You will be amazed and most likely changed. Powerful.

  • Powerful by 10

    Of all the things you could be, be Kind!Couldn't help to cry a few times, how many suffer and are grateful and happy with the bit they possess, yet so many of us with full health take it for granted and dismiss those with all sorts of disabilities.

  • Great by 10

    It's absolutely great movie about inspiring people.Well they are a true influencers. Hope more people will see it, because world still need changes.

  • Almost Perfect by 9

    As a doc, it covers mostly all the bases and is heartfelt without being sugary sweet. You get a feeling for the times, the various areas of civil rights and political action (before that mean PAC). Finally getting the ADA signed and enforced was a 20yr struggle I remember well. I had forgotten that some politicians you'd think would have been supportive were not and visa versa. In those days, with no social media, if you weren't voters (or not perceived as such) and didn't get news coverage, politicians generally had little interest. However, one big counter argument against few benefiting (even though those "few" were/are the biggest minority) was overlooked here, otherwise I would have given it a 10/10:

    After I had my first knee surgery, I had complications. I spent a long time on crutches. I went to physical therapy daily but the restroom in that building was incredibly tiny, with two stalls you could barely get into, much less with crutches and a backpack on (forget wheelchair). And that was a medical building in one of the largest medical centers in the US! It was 1988-89. So a great argument against few benefiting was that many able bodied people would spend some time as a disabled person and I saw those people every day in PT, a lot of them. I ended up having 5 more knee surgeries so spent lots of time needing accommodations. I still use a ramp as stairs are not my friend and I'm happy for other accommodations as well, esp as I get older. It shouldn't take my experience to have empathy, but empathy is a greatly underdeveloped organ in humanity.

    It's amazing to me that a country that saw the polio epidemic render millions disabled, that saw wars disable millions of young men (Vietnam in particular in those days), and on and on, had such a hard time finding empathy and a few dollars so that everyone had access and opportunity, which saves money in the long run because less institutionalization is needed and more people can work and contribute. It is amazing that many still are the heirs to the nasty undertones of the kind of thinking that delayed this legislation for so long.

  • I thought it was just okay by 6

    I almost feel like a bad person for not loving this the way so many others seem to have loved it. It's far from terrible, and it has a very good message, while celebrating and humanising a group of people who deserve more recognition. But as a film, and as a story, it faltered in a few regards for me, and I think those flaws kept me from absolutely loving it.

    I've discovered a good deal of extremely solid documentaries on Netflix lately, and was hoping my enthusiasm for Crip Camp would be similarly strong. Yet maybe I'm starting to notice a distinct formula to some of them. The editing style, the music, the pacing, and even the opening credits- so many aspects are starting to feel very similar. It's a side note, and maybe not worth bringing up right now, but it's interesting nevertheless.

    The main problem with Crip Camp is the way in which its story is told, or more accurately, how its two stories are told. Because to me, this documentary combines two short documentaries into one; one is about a camp for disabled children in the 1970s, and the other is about a group of disability activists teaming together to get more rights for disabled people in America during the late 1970s to early 1980s. Even with some individuals in the camp being involved in this second part, I still didn't really feel a strong connection between the two stories. They try to drive it home in the film's epilogue, with a voiceover suggesting that the spirit of the camp drove them to fight for disabled rights later on in their lives, but I just didn't feel it. I got the sense I was being told this rather than shown it, and it made the early camp scenes feel a little pointless as a result.

    Unfortunately, the scenes about taking on the government aren't a whole lot more interesting. The stock footage isn't too compelling, and doesn't convey much information. It comes down to the narration to tell the story again, but everything's structured in a flat, kind of uninteresting way. The basic story is interesting, and noteworthy, and important, but this whole chunk of the movie really just goes through the motions, reciting in a tedious manner what happened before reaching a decently emotional but very sudden conclusion where the filmmakers attempt to tie it all together. I just didn't buy it, and maybe that's more on me. But I can't help feeling like little effort was put into presenting this story in an interesting, engaging way.

    It's a disappointment, but the efforts behind the film, the message, and the recognition of what these people did keeps it from being bad. It's just all quite narratively flat and dull to me. There's little in the way of emotional resonance too, besides the aforementioned moving epilogue (that nevertheless does clash with the rest of the film, in being quite suddenly and heavily sentimental). Give it a shot. Everyone else seems to really like it, and I might be one of the only naysayers. And even then, it's far from terrible. It doesn't say anything dangerous, it's not biased, and it does seem to come from respectful, genuine filmmakers. It's just a shame I didn't find it as engaging as I wanted or expected to.

#PersonCrew
1Jim Lebrechtdirector
2Nicole Newnhamdirector
3Andrew Gersheditor