<i>Multi–handicapped.</i> 1986. USA. Directed by Frederick Wiseman

Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind: Four Films

Thursday, April 15, 2010, 8:00 p.m.

Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2), T2

Includes the following film:

  • Multi-handicapped

    1986. USA. Directed by Frederick Wiseman. 126 min.

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Frederick Wiseman
Edited by Joshua Siegel and Marie-Christine de Navacelle

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Wiseman’s continued examination of American educational models led in 1986 to an ambitious study of the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind. Four distinct but related films— Deaf, Blind, Multi-handicapped, and Adjustment & Work—depict children and adults with various sensory and physical impairments who struggle to achieve some measure of independence in their lives, often with significant success. “One More River to Cross,” the spiritual sung by a dorm parent in Multi-handicapped, could serve as the films’ guiding theme, as we watch a little boy in Blind feeling his way along corridors to make a triumphant solo journey between classrooms on different floors; a boy in Deaf who torments himself in the belief that his parents do not love him; and a woman in Adjustment & Work who has great difficulty in learning to make change in coins. Wiseman’s filmmaking techniques themselves alter our sensual apprehension of the world—rarely has the importance of human touch been so palpably or so poetically evoked—and they not only help us to see and hear better, but also deepen our capacity for empathy and love.

In the Film exhibition Frederick Wiseman

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