Learning Difficulty





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Limb & Spinal Conditions: Major Films   no photo.
TitleMoment of Truth, to walk again (1994) (TV Film)
Alternative/Original Title
GenreTrue story
DirectorCameron Bancroft
CastBlair Brown Ken Howard
NotesWatching this film is like eating marshmallow. A teenage boy from a middle class family is off the rails and naturally his father is unsympathetic. He drops out of Penn State and joins the Marines. At one point he is threatened with being kicked out for having marijuana in his blood but then they let him stay. But during an exercise with live ammo he is shot in the head. The bullet destroys the left side of his brain under the cortex and he is left in a coma. He is then sent to a rehab centre but for his mother and father this is just too down market having to mix with the working class. The working class is represented by 'Capt. America', a huge bearded reject from a biker gang. He of course has given up on life never mind trying to walk again. By this point you are well aware that you are in the realm of think positive and your disability will be 'cured', a mode of presenting disability so beloved of TV films since you're more likely to get a happy ending. Another clichT is that the doctors say the lad will never walk again. This to the parents is simply a red rag to a bull. Of course the parents know better than the doctors (this reminds me of the low esteem in which scientists are held, even more so in films where they are so often maniacs). And of course the doctors in these places are simply time servers. What the parents really want is a private hospital where the doctors are paid so much and come over so friendly and caring it seems like they're your blood relatives. As mum says "they are qualified to look after my son's particular needs." And she doesn't mean paper qualifications. The lad is moved to a new hospital which as all the most modern facilities, Cleveland V.A. hospital where he gets favoured treatment. The rest of the patients just don't matter. And to round things off he goes before a senate sub-committee where, didn't you just know it, he stands up and walks and EVERYONE claps. Of course this is a true story but it's not a true film.

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