SHAMELESS: The ART of Disability

SHAMELESS: The ART of Disability

Art, activism and disability are the starting point for what unfolds as a funny and intimate portrait of 5 individuals. Director Bonnie Sherr Klein (Not a Love Story and Speaking Our Peace) has been a pioneer of women’s cinema. SHAMELESS: The ART of Disability marks Klein's return to a career interrupted by a catastrophic stroke in 1987. She turns the lens on the world of disability culture and the transformative power of art.

Joining Klein are a group of artists with diverse (dis)abilities. Humorist David Roche is taking his one-man show, The Church of 80% Sincerity, to New York’s off-Broadway. Poet Catherine Frazee is navigating a jam-packed schedule of teaching and speaking engagements. Dancer and choreographer Geoff McMurchy is organizing KickstART, an international festival of disability art. Sculptor and writer Persimmon Blackbridge is creating mixed media portraits from “meaningful junk”.

Klein gathers these artists for a pyjama party where they take a subversive look at Hollywood stereotypes of people with disabilities: The Monster, The Saint, The Psycho, the Poor Little Crippled Girl, etc. The artists decide to turn the tables, making a pact to meet a year later at the KicksART Festival with the intent of creating their own images of disability.

The film tracks this motley gang of five while they create and then present their self-representations. As we get to know each of these remarkable people driven by a passion for art and transformation, the everyday complexities and unexpected richness of life with a disability are exposed.

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Credits
  • collaborating artist
    Persimmon Blackbridge
    Catherine Frazee
    Geoff McMurchy
    David Roche
  • director
    Bonnie Sherr Klein
  • writer
    Bonnie Sherr Klein
  • producer
    Tracey Friesen
  • editor
    Lara Mazur
  • cinematographer
    Kirk Tougas
  • composer
    Veda Hille
  • assistant director
    Teri Snelgrove
  • location sound recording
    Jeff Henschel
  • sound supervisor
    Gael MacLean
  • director consultant
    Anne Wheeler
  • clearances supervisor
    Paula Sawadsky
  • research
    Corinna Hagel
  • clearances
    Corinna Hagel
  • participant
    Mac Blades
    Marlena Blavin
    Michael Klein
    Patricia Seeley
    Corey Fischer
    Charlene Curtiss
    JoAnne Petroff
    Alexina Louie
    Brenda Zabolotny
    Carolyn Novog
    Shawn Robinson
    Melanie Panitch
    Penny Schincariol
    Sara Hillis
    Erica Johnson
    Naomi Klein
    Zoe Klein-Johnson
    Avi Lewis
    Seth Klein
  • additional cinematography
    Michael Chin
    Jim Aquila
  • additional sound
    John Haptas
    Jason Milligan
  • interim editor
    Bonni Devlin
    Cathrine Fuller
    Jeanne Slater
  • assistant editor
    Johanna Mazur
    Kye Meechan
  • title animation
    Hilary Moses
  • production assistant
    Beth Gleason
    AJ Murray
    Ben Silberman
    Elinor Warkentin
  • transcription
    Pamela Pellegrini
  • stills photographer
    Rosamond Norbury
  • graphic imaging
    Jon Anastasiades
  • post-production services
    Rainmaker Digital Pictures
  • online editor
    Flavio Bidese
    Gerry Gonsalves
  • colourist
    Lionel Barton
  • musician
    Ak Coope
    Veda Hille
    Peggy Lee
    Barry Mirochnick
  • sound editor
    Mark Hensley
  • music editor
    Gael MacLean
  • re-recording mixer
    Mark Hensley
    Don Mann
  • sound mixing facility
    Post Modern Sound
  • production coordinator
    Christine Sears
  • technical coordinator
    Wes Machnikowski
  • production supervisor
    Kathryn Lynch
  • marketing manager
    Kay Leung
  • program administrator
    Bruce Hagerman
  • executive producer
    Rina Fraticelli