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Defiant Lives tells the story of the rise and triumph of the disability rights movement and introduces the most impressive activists you've never heard of. The film uses exclusive interviews with elders (some now deceased) who have lead the movement over the past five decades, and combines this with rarely seen archival footage sourced from Australia, the United States, and Britain.
The story begins in the big institutions where disabled people were routinely imprisoned for life. From the 1960s onward, small numbers began to escape, aided by allies who came to work and help, and ended up battling a system of brutality and dehumanisation. Once freed from there imprisonment they found a world full of barriers, so they set about dismantling them one by one.
This is a film full of extraordinary characters who put their lives on the line to create a better, and very different world, where everyone, regardless of impairment, is valued and can participate fully.
ATOM has also produced a study guide for Defiant Lives. This study guide is available for download here.
Running Time: 85 mins
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