I’ve been away from this blog for quite some time, dealing with some complicated shit. More about that later. But for now:
This is what I’ve been talking about. Ordinary people, doing ordinary things. Ordinary people who happen to be in wheelchairs, featured in commercials. Better they should be in mainstream TV shows and movies, but I’ll take what I can get.
- The wheelchairs are not the focus of the story, they’re not even important to the story. This little screenplay could have been acted out equally as powerfully were the actors not in wheelchairs.
- I love the fact that this drama shows people in wheelchairs being physical, active athletes, able to give and take on the court. I love the fact that this is not about people in wheelchairs. This is not about disability.
- I love the fact that it proves that wheelchair users are not “bound” to their chairs. Just as we are moving towards more inclusive “person first” language we have to move away from the image of people in wheelchairs being dependent and stuck or trapped. For these men, like for everybody else who uses a wheelchair, the chair is a vehicle for liberation.
- I love that the story empowers the men in the wheelchairs.
- I love the fact that the kids are fully included in the father’s life and accepting of his disability, perhaps not even seeing it anymore.
- I love the fact that Toyota stands aside, and can promote their message and their product (I still don’t know what model vehicle is being promoted, but, like the wheelchairs, it doesn’t matter.) without having to shout.
- I love seeing myself, or someone who looks like me, portrayed this way in a mainstream commercial. Perhaps only marginalized people will understand this. (A topic for a further and lengthy, discussion.)
In the end, what makes this a really great commercial is that the product (some sort of car, I think…) is only a vehicle (pardon the pun) for the drama of a group of men playing a very physical game of basketball, ending the day without holding grudges.
I hope this film can lead the way toward more fully inclusive roles for people with disabilities.
Did I mention that I love this little film? What do you think?