Monday, March 10, 2014

Movies with Lead (and Supporting) Disabled Characters

First and foremost, I’m fairly sure you can look up a movie’s troubling content via: Kids In Mind for a comprehensive list of triggers. I would do this for every movie, solely because I don’t know anyone’s individual triggers and it’s always better to be safe. I did warn for the more obvious ones I could remember.
NOTE: I’m not an expert by any means but did consider whether all conditions listed would be disabling and did preliminary searches to check regarding certain illnesses and disorders that may fall under the category.
MAIN CHARACTER:
50/50 (Adam Lerner, cancer)
127 Hours (Aron Ralston, traumatic amputation) - This one’s quite intense and gory.
Avatar (Jake Sully has a spinal cord injury.)
Awake (Clay Beresford, heart transplant) TW: super graphic and intense. Not recommended if you’re squeamish or sensitive.
*Call Me Crazy: A Five Film (Lucy - schizophrenia, Grace - bipolar disorder, Eddie - depression, and Maggie - PTSD) - not a feature film, and has a LOT of triggers, but also very effective at beginning to destigmatize mental illness. Highly recommended if you can watch safely.
Catching Fire (Katniss Everdeen, PTSD) TW: intensity
Finding Nemo (Nemo, fin injury, impacts him throughout the movie)
Good Will Hunting (Will Hunting, Reactive Attachment Disorder) TW: lots of triggers here. I’d search this one for sure.
Home of the Brave (Vanessa, traumatic amputation, PTSD & Will, Tommy & Jamal all have PTSD as well.) This one follows the re-entry of four soldiers back home. Very trigger-heavy. If you do watch, watch with care.
How To Train Your Dragon (Hiccup, Toothless amputation)
Hide and Seek (Emily Calloway, depression) TW: intense situations. Gore.
I Am Sam (Sam Dawson has a developmental disability)
Least Among Saints (Anthony Hayward, PTSD) TW: intense situations
Martian Child (Dennis, Reactive Attachment Disorder)
My Sister’s Keeper (Kate Fitzgerald, cancer) Trigger warning: character death.
Philadelphia (Andrew Beckett, HIV/AIDS, which - stated in the movie - is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act) Trigger warning: character death.
Phoebe in Wonderland (Phoebe, obsessive compulsive disorder) TW: OCD-related self-harm
Rain Man (Raymond Babbit, on the autism spectrum)
Raise Your Voice (Teresa Fletcher, PTSD, brief head injury) TW: car accident, character death
Reign Over Me (Charlie Fineman, PTSD) Trigger warning for…intense content, I guess. Not sure how to warn for this, but I think it merits one.
Remember The Titans (Gerry Bertier, spinal cord injury)
Seven Pounds (Emily Posa, pre and post heart transplant) TW: character death, car accident, traumatic scenes, suicide.
Soul Surfer (Bethany Hamilton, traumatic amputation)
*The Brooke Ellison Story (Brooke Ellison, spinal cord injury) - This is not a feature film but very well done, and worth a look IMO, if you ever have free time.
The Guardian (Ben Randall, limb injury & PTSD) TW: intense scenes
The Lucky One (Logan Thibault, PTSD) TW: grief
The Secret Life of Bees (May Boatwright, depression) Trigger warning for suicide.
The Cure (Dexter has AIDS) Trigger warning: Character death.
The Mighty (Kevin has Morquio Syndrome, which causes him to have a physical disability)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Quasimodo, kyphosis)
The Village (Ivy Walker is blind and Noah Percy has a developmental disability.) Trigger warning for intense content
Uptown Girls (Lorraine Schline, OCD)
White Frog (Nick Young, is on the autism spectrum) This one is an independent film. Not sure if it counts.
SUPPORTING CHARACTER:
Blood Diamond (Dia Vandy, PTSD)
Finding Nemo (Dory, short-term memory loss)
Fragments (Jimmy, PTSD, trauma based mutism) TW: seriously intense scenes. Violence.)
Mulan (Fa Zhou, war injury)
Parenthood (Kevin Buckman, anxiety)
The Princess Bride (Fezzik, gigantism)
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Bailey Graffman, cancer) TW: character death.
War of the Worlds (Rachel Ferrier, panic attacks)
What Dreams May Come (Annie, depression) TW: self-harm, suicide.
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (Arnie Grape has a developmental disability)

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