This film is part of Free

Stress: Parents with a Handicapped Child

Acclaimed author Bernice Rubens’ hard-hitting film about disabled children and the family.

Documentary 1966 29 mins



Bernice Rubens, the acclaimed Welsh author, scripted and directs a hard-hitting and moving film about disability and the family. It takes a fly-on-the-wall view of five families with disabled children who speak openly and frankly about the everyday challenges they face. Despite the dated language, the compassion of the parents to fight for their children’s rights comes through strongly.

The film exposes how little support parents of disabled children received in the 1960s, before community care became a reality over a decade later. Often the only choices available were institutional care or nothing. Families who chose to look after their children at home had to be very resourceful, and often siblings became young carers. This film includes the experience of a range of families expressed through the lens of social class, including a black family and the additional pressures they face. Stress won the American Blue Ribbon award in 1968.