28 October, 2010

so I just rewatched Gattaca (after seeing it and really loving it four years ago) and I seriously almost cried it's so awesome...the problem is it's actually sort of super ableist in its own way. Like, people with invisible disabilities should just follow their dreams, but people with visible disabilities, not so much.

I can think of a loophole out of this so I can still love the movie and not feel bad. But I feel like I'm cheating. Can anyone help?

8 comments:

  1. It accurately depicts the complicated reality of disability. Any message is up to the viewers.

    's what I generally say.

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  2. have you seen it though? I'm not sure I think it does that.

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  3. I don't think the complicated reality of disability is that people who use wheelchairs just need to kill themselves for no reason. And yes, I know that's not necessarily why he does it, but I don't think it would be acceptable/make sense to viewers if we didn't already have this kind of trope driven into us (a sitting or lying life is not worth living).

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  4. ....so you're saying that that particular interpretation already comes from the outside? That's my point. I used Gattaca to reflect on eugenics, and how many complicated and nuanced layers are shown to portray that. I think the films lends itself to people asking exactly the kind of questions you're asking, rather than implying that people in wheelchairs lead useless lives.

    And it's actually really important that "that's not necessarily why he does it". His motivation can just as easily be seen as a comment on the nature of living in an an inaccessible and unwelcoming world where his human rights are denied.

    It's complicated and lends itself to discussion; that's why I like it. I think it does the media a disservice to simplify things down to "visibly disabled person leads life not worth living". I think it's way more interesting than that.

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  5. No, I'm not saying that interpretation comes from the outside. I'm saying that they wouldn't have done that to a walking character/made a character like that walking, because it wouldn't make sense tropewise.

    I mean, I love the movie, but I don't want to be easy on it just because I love it.

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  6. Some things are just guilty pleasures. I kinda feel that way about Bladerunner; I love that movie and it was a huge influence on me because I first saw it when I was around 12 or so, but I've realized as I've gotten older that there's some pretty fucked up things about it. Like it doesn't pass the Bechdel Test and the scene between Deckard and Rachel where they have sex is very disturbing because it's pretty dub-con.

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  7. You're not cheating if you're honest and acknowledge the bad stuff! It's really hard to find stories that aren't messed up in some way.

    It's ok to love it and find it valuable.

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