Mira Thompson

A change in perspective: who is being watched and who is watching

2021   Writing

“The discriminatory image that exists about people with disabilities is persistent and has far-reaching consequences. Just looking at someone with a disability evokes fear, shame and discomfort in many. These are seemingly innocent feelings, but are deeply rooted ones that have major social consequences. They influence the way we conduct political policy, how public space is organized and - most relevant to this film - how we relate to each other. This film reproduces these social sentiments by portraying the person with the disability, Peter (with no matter how much love and consideration he is portrayed) as primarily a burden.

In my view, it would be a relief if the complexity of people with a disability and their environment were portrayed. With that complexity I mean that not only the so-called 'burden' is put first. But that in addition to the 'burden' or if you prefer 'the sadness', also or especially the beauty and intimacy are given space.” (excerpt)

Commissioned by Humans of Film Festival, Mira wrote a text in response to the documentary He’s My Brother (2021) directed by Christine Hanberg and Cille Hannibal. He’s My Brother follows two siblings, one of which is disabled. From the standpoint of the non-disabled sister we get a glimpse of what it means to take on a caretaker role.

Reach out to us for the full text [Dutch].