New film challenges assumptions about people with disabilities

June 27, 2022
The film allows people with disabilities to represent themselves and blows apart conventional assumptions. Image: Sydney Film Festival

Directed by Bruce Gladwin
Written by Mark Deans, Bruce Gladwin, Simon Laherty, Sarah Mainwaring, Scott Price, Michael Chan, Sonia Teuben
Starring Mark Deans, Scott Price, Simon Laherty, Sarah Mainwaring, Breanna Deleo, Brian Lipson, Ben Oakes
Showing nationally as part of Sydney Film Festival, Revelation Perth International Film Festival and Darwin Festival

Shadow is a production of Geelong-based Back to Back Theatre, which has presented work produced and performed by people with disabilities for 30 years.

The film is an adaptation of the company’s stage play, The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes. The script was workshopped, written and performed by the cast — all but one of whom is a person with a disability — and filmed by people with disabilities.

Shadow allows people with disabilities to represent themselves and blows apart conventional assumptions.

The plot follows a town hall meeting organised and led by three people with disabilities to discuss the prospects of computerised artificial intelligence on the lives of people with disabilities. Does AI have the capacity to liberate or enslave not just people with disabilities but other people as well?

Using Bertold Brecht’s techniques of political theatre, the ensemble combines a history of the oppression of people with disabilities, theoretical debates about the terms “disability” and “neuro-diversity” and the struggle against misogyny.

It is a tour de force of intelligence, creativity and humour, with many unexpected twists and turns.

The people with disabilities speaking up in Shadow are speaking for the liberation of all.

[The trailer for Shadow can be seen here.]

You need Green Left, and we need you!

Green Left is funded by contributions from readers and supporters. Help us reach our funding target.

Make a One-off Donation or choose from one of our Monthly Donation options.

Become a supporter to get the digital edition for $5 per month or the print edition for $10 per month. One-time payment options are available.

You can also call 1800 634 206 to make a donation or to become a supporter. Thank you.