Crip Camp, Netflix’s feelgood documentary executive-produced by the Obamas, begins out of the spotlight: at a hippy summer camp in the early 1970s called Camp Jened in which teens hang out, hook up and mess around in the mountains adjacent, both physically and spiritually, to Woodstock. The campers at Jened, however, are all disabled teens, and Jened offers a rare utopia of what a world centered on their perspective could be. The camp’s radical vision, it turns out, has shaped decades of activism; the film, which premiered to rave reviews at Sundance in January, traces the long arc of Jened’s foundational influence for a generation of civil rights activists, as many ex-Jenedians fought in the oft-underplayed story of the disability rights movement in America. The idea for a film on Jened began with an off-hand comment at lunch. Jim LeBrecht, an award-winning sound designer for film and theater based in Oakland, California, had worked on several documentaries, including three films over the course of 15 years with Nicole Newnham as co-director. But LeBrecht, who was born with spina bifida and uses a wheelchair, had never seen one related to his life’s work as a disability rights advocate. At the end… Read full this story
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