Disability or characters with disabilities have rarely been given the spotlight until recently. We have finally seen a much-needed rise in movies and TV shows that are inclusive and educative about various disabilities. Even though there are a significant number of films in this area, a few have lived up to the expectations and unfortunately, some have portrayed the condition poorly or without a proper understanding. We’ve watched loads of them and this maybe the first of many as a series, here are 3 must-watch Tactopus recommendations.
Atypical: A heartwarming and endearing show that gives us a glimpse into the life of a young boy Sam, who is on the spectrum. This coming of age comedy-drama show on Netflix follows Sam, a teenager with Autism as he navigates the challenges of growing up, gaining independence and his quest for finding love and companionship. Season 2 of this show also included characters who are on the spectrum in real life, making it a show that not only portrayed special needs but also advocated inclusion. This show will leave you with both, giggles and your heart, melting.Taare Zameen Par: Perhaps known as one of Aamir Khans’ best films, TZP is a heartening and uplifting movie about Ishaan, a young boy with dyslexia. We can all agree that this movie brought in a lot of awareness about the condition of Dyslexia when most of us hadn’t even heard about it. Deeply well-meant and probably incredibly illuminating for those who don’t know much about the condition, the movie delicately portrays the world as Ishaan sees it and the challenges of being trapped in an education system that has a one approach fit all policy. The movie follows Ishaan’s journey as he is sent away to boarding school to “get on track” and how his world changes when a teacher identifies his disability and is determined to help him cope. Keep those tissues handy, you’re going to need them. Ray: This biopic movie about the legendary singer Ray Charles is inspiring in every way. With a stellar performance by Jamie Foxx that won him an Oscar for Best Actor, the movie narrates the life of Ray Charles who was left blind at the age of 7, resulting from glaucoma. Although he came from very humble beginnings, Ray’s sheer motivation, driven by his unmatched musical talent, saw him rise to become one of the world’s most successful and famous musicians of all time. The strong determination that helped him beat the odds and his triumph over all obstacles will leave you in awe and inspired. The important thing about movies and shows that portray characters with disabilities or special needs is that they represent characters realistically and showcase them beyond their disabilities. While it can make us sensitive to the struggles they endure, it is heartwarming and inspiring to watch them overcome their adversity and triumph over the obstacles that come their way. A welcome change we have seen in recent times is not only for media to include disabled characters but also to have people with the disability portray it on screen. Not only does it add authenticity to the character but it also means disabled people are given the opportunity they rightly deserve. Do you have a favourite movie or show about disability that you recommend? We’d love to hear.