Care or Cure?
For centuries, both disabled people and becoming disabled were viewed as a fearful burden, both to the family and to society at large. This collection reflects this underlying world view, which often switches between seeking a cure for impaired bodies and minds, and if a cure isn't found, to care for them.
But it's not all black and white. As these films show, there is evidence of some emerging fresh ideas around the rights to independence of disabled people - and conversely some much grimmer reflections about casting disabled people as the 'socially dead', and about that most fundamental human right - the right to be alive.
Graham Findlay (disability equality consultant)
Please note: titles in this collection may contain language or other content that reflect views prevalent in their time but that may cause offence today. They are included here for historical reasons and are in no way endorsed by the BFI or its partners.
Rehabilitation at Roffey Park
194629 mins Location: Roffey Park (College)
The treatment of World War II Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – filmed, astonishingly, in full colour.
Something to Offer
An interesting documentary on psychiatric provision, set at a Plymouth day hospital and originally produced for nursing recruitment.
His Fighting Chance
Government sponsored film194910 mins
Eleanor Roosevelt and Michael Redgrave narrate this optimistic post-war film on the rehabilitation of disabled people with polio.
Tuppence for Tomorrow
Enter Peter’s world of awkward conversations, resentful bosses and psychedelic pub carpets as he comes to terms with being newly-disabled.
Documentary197115 mins Location: East Anstey
A village for the mentally impaired, with residents working on a local farm in a progressive project aimed at a fully flourishing life for all.
Percy Hedley School
News197017 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Being wheelchair users is not a barrier to these children doing slaloms or throwing javelins, gaining confidence and changing perceptions.
Hospital Sports 1938
Amateur film19389 minsSilent Location: Bracebridge Heath
A reminder of pre-war institutional care as the patients of Bracebridge Mental Hospital go for gold in their annual hospital sports.
No Winners, No Losers
Documentary198525 mins Location: Botton Head
This timely documentary about Botton Village community raises key issues around the principles of care of those with learning difficulties.
Annual Sports Storthes Hall Athletes
Amateur film193014 minsSilent Location: Kirkburn Grange
Despite mental health problems, these patients enjoy themselves as they tackle an obstacle race and have pillow fights sat on a greasy pole.
The Opening of the Prince of Wales Hospital at Cardiff
Non-Fiction191813 minsSilent Location: Cardiff/Caerdydd
Miss Clara Deacon, matron (or 'commandant' as the press refer to her) of this pioneering hospital, accompanies the royal patron on his visit.
Current affairs197227 mins
A shocking and powerful edition of This Week focusing on women unnecessarily institutionalised for decades for defying societal conventions.
Stress: Parents with a Handicapped Child
Acclaimed author Bernice Rubens’ hard-hitting film about disabled children and the family.
Take Your Partner
Amateur film19588 minsSilent Location: Romiley
Refusing to take 'no' for an answer, a young woman takes matters into her own hands, with embarrassing results.
Learning in Slow Motion
Patients at Epsom’s Manor Hospital learn new skills: an important record of changing attitudes about learning difficulty
Against the Odds The Land Can Provide
Documentary198626 mins Location: Botton Cross
By a mixture of bio-dynamics and patience, the co-workers and those with special needs of Botton Village gain satisfaction in eking a living.
Half the Battle's Won
Documentary198026 mins Location: Botton Cross
An early example of integrating people with learning difficulties at a time when ideas of normalisation and community care were emerging.
Handicapped Gathering, Salesbury Hall, 22nd Aug
Amateur film19709 minsSilent Location: Ribchester
An afternoon of balloons, song and dance with the Gang Show in Ribchester.
Halliwick Girl's School
Amateur film194612 minsSilent Location: Winchmore Hill
Join the disabled girls from the Halliwick Girls School, Winchmore Hill, on a day out to the seaside for boating, yo-yos and ice cream.
Documentary197018 mins Location: Tickhill
An affecting film of children with severe physical impairments, segregated in a special school, at play and coping with their class work.
"...And Then There Was One"
Training film/TV programme196530 mins
Who will be the ‘one’? This medical drama-doc, exploring mental health and illness, is stylish, nail-biting stuff.
Arise and Walk: A Film Illustrating the Prevention and Cure of Cripples
A morality lesson from the 1920s to teach us that it is sinful to not attempt to cure disability.