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Learning Difficulties (Mental Retardation): Major Films  
TitleNell (1994)
Alternative/Original Title
DisabilityGeneral Stroke Mental Autism Learning difficulty
CountryUSA
Length114
GenreDrama
Rating4
DirectorMicheal Apted
CastJodie Foster Liam Neeson Natasha Richardson
NotesSet in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains contrasted with urban ugliness. Jodie Foster is a young woman who has been brought up by her mother who had suffered a stroke in the deep backwoods. She is found by a doctor (Liam Neeson) after her mother has died but she is unable to speak except in a language known only to her mother. The doctor becomes her teacher, she becomes our teacher for this is another film in which those with learning difficulties/autism are associated with the natural, a life we have lost, and what might be good for us. A worthy film, worthy performances, Foster headed for an Oscar even if some might see the bones beneath the skin. See also the review at The Women's Studies Database: http://www.inform.umd.edu/EdRes/Topic/WomensStudies/FilmReviews/nell-mcalister

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