I had read about how diverse the casting was, and it was.
All that diversity up on the screen.
And then, for an instant.
Just for an instant.
A man in a wheelchair, sitting on a porch.
I was startled so much I almost fell out of my wheelchair. I don’t expect to see disabled people in movies, in backgrounds, in crowds, let alone in leading roles. Now I have no idea if the actor playing this role had a disability, I somehow doubt it, I mean diverse casting doesn’t actually mean us, does it?
But leaving that aside, let’s look at what was happening in that second. He was having dinner and he was being helped to eat. I couldn’t see him clearly enough but I think he was an elderly man in a wheelchair. But he was being helped to eat, sitting on the porch, in plain view.
This was set in a town with limited resources. With starving people. With people struggling just to get by and survive.
Remember those kind of math questions that Nazi’s used, some of which have made it to North American textbooks? The ‘who would you throw out of the boat first’ questions? The questions that asked who should be the first to die during times of shortage and desperate survival? Remember those?
This is the kind of math that’s being done now, in subtle ways, about disabled lives. The idea of burden and cost are back with a vengeance.
So in these times it was comforting to watch a scene that indicated in ‘those’ times, disabled people weren’t hidden away, weren’t confined to the captivity of indifference.
He was on the porch.
Being lovingly assisted.
He was home. In his community. Sharing what resources they had.
I wonder if some film maker will ever think to zoom the camera in and really see this man the way that I did. And I wonder if they realize that there is a story to tell there. An important story. Because he must have meant something to someone, he must have been loved by the town, he must have a story worth telling.