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  • Wow. What an amazing story this was documenting the struggles and lives of the disabled in America culminating with Bush number 1 signing the Americans with Dissabilities Act (ADA). Beginning with the story of a camp for the disabled which empowered and planted the seeds in the activists minds to their powerful marathons of trying to get the US government to listen to them. This documentary was so well done with beautiful, heartfelt and at times heartbreaking video footage of the lives of these warriors fighting for just the opportunity to live normal lives and contribute to society. No wonder this brought down the house at Sundance. It is an art piece dedicated to those who society shunned rising up to change the world for everyone. It was beautiful. Just sit back and let them tell the story. You will be amazed and most likely changed. Powerful.
  • Lovelove2128 March 2020
    It's absolutely great movie about inspiring people.Well they are a true influencers. Hope more people will see it, because world still need changes.
  • caramia200230 March 2020
    As a doc, it covers mostly all the bases and is heartfelt without being sugary sweet. You get a feeling for the times, the various areas of civil rights and political action (before that mean PAC). Finally getting the ADA signed and enforced was a 20yr struggle I remember well. I had forgotten that some politicians you'd think would have been supportive were not and visa versa. In those days, with no social media, if you weren't voters (or not perceived as such) and didn't get news coverage, politicians generally had little interest. However, one big counter argument against few benefiting (even though those "few" were/are the biggest minority) was overlooked here, otherwise I would have given it a 10/10:

    After I had my first knee surgery, I had complications. I spent a long time on crutches. I went to physical therapy daily but the restroom in that building was incredibly tiny, with two stalls you could barely get into, much less with crutches and a backpack on (forget wheelchair). And that was a medical building in one of the largest medical centers in the US! It was 1988-89. So a great argument against few benefiting was that many able bodied people would spend some time as a disabled person and I saw those people every day in PT, a lot of them. I ended up having 5 more knee surgeries so spent lots of time needing accommodations. I still use a ramp as stairs are not my friend and I'm happy for other accommodations as well, esp as I get older. It shouldn't take my experience to have empathy, but empathy is a greatly underdeveloped organ in humanity.

    It's amazing to me that a country that saw the polio epidemic render millions disabled, that saw wars disable millions of young men (Vietnam in particular in those days), and on and on, had such a hard time finding empathy and a few dollars so that everyone had access and opportunity, which saves money in the long run because less institutionalization is needed and more people can work and contribute. It is amazing that many still are the heirs to the nasty undertones of the kind of thinking that delayed this legislation for so long.
  • Watching this documentary is about as humbling as being at the senior olympics, as a teen-aged logistical supporter. Seeing what these kids accomplished with their physical & societal challenges makes me embarrassed to even think about giving up on ANYTHING, or complaining about my problems. But it's not a depressing film - it's remarkably optimistic & uplifting. It's also hilarious - the jokes they tell on themselves had me rolling! They're also surprisingly insightful about their place in the world, and not accepting what they're told that is. One of the campers with CP was even poetic, despite her profound disability. Yes, it was VERY hard to understand her, but the effort paid off. You won't regret taking the time to watch this.
  • karirosie26 March 2020
    Of all the things you could be, be Kind! Couldn't help to cry a few times, how many suffer and are grateful and happy with the bit they possess, yet so many of us with full health take it for granted and dismiss those with all sorts of disabilities.
  • Oh how I loved this film! It starts about a group of disabled people who attend Camp Jened, a camp for people with disabilities and the freedom they felt at the camp where they could be themselves and feel equal, unlike in society and back at home. The story evolves into the story of the disability movement in America, which was led by one of the campers. I knew nothing of this movement until now and it's an important story to be told. It brought me to tears and is a must-watch if you enjoy documentaries!
  • ruadhcaileag18 April 2020
    Well done with this documentary. Bringing in the truth, from people who lived it. Our world has never treated persons with special needs well at all. Their story needs to be told, their strength needs to be shared. Heartbreaking and inspiring. The original footage is amazing!
  • dioncassio0131 March 2020
    Great movie! and a amazing way to view disabilities from people who has and theirs perspectives!
  • frills, no overly-clever graphics, just a beautifully edited collection of convicting memories, capturing a completely forgotten piece of cultural history, & illuminating the immense effect this one relatively small group of hippies had on American history. It's packed with full of the kind of humanity we need: kid singing "One Time Blues", climbing Capitol steps, reuniting with other campers at campgrounds...& is it just me, or did anybody else crush hard on Judith?
  • This a documentary that should be seen by everyone.To learn something about emphaty.
  • I worked at a camp in Mokuleia Hawaii in 1972-75 that has the Special Education Center of Oahu bring out their kids for 2 weeks. I found your film brought me back to that time, and remember how trans formative camping can be. I also worked at the Youth Leadership Camp for the Deaf. I was one of 2 "hearing people" at the Camp. One of my most vivid memories is watching a young deaf girl get off the bus, take a look around and sign "it is so nice to finally be around normal people". I was so young, and passing out drugs and taking care of these kids with little experience, but with tons on energy and enthusiasm. We just did the best we could, but it was so special and I saw lives change. With today's regulations what we did could probably not happen again - a shame.....

    Camping has always has a special place in my heart - thank you for showing how powerful those experiences are and how they transformed lives, and empowered you to change the nation.
  • This doc shines a light on the early disability rights movement by focusing on the people who attended a summer camp in the 70's. The movie contains *a lot* of material-the archival footage and the interviews bring up issues most people would not even think about, i.e. The perceived hierarchy among people with disabilities and sexuality of people with disabilities. All of it is very compelling. Furthermore, the filmmakers do what they can to put everything in proper context. But unfortunately I think the final film is a little too short.

    In particular the battles around the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are largely ignored; earlier conflicts over laws/regulations took up considerable time. But all of sudden the ADA got passed by Bush 41. It makes it feel like the progress was rapid when it was anything but.
  • I almost feel like a bad person for not loving this the way so many others seem to have loved it. It's far from terrible, and it has a very good message, while celebrating and humanising a group of people who deserve more recognition. But as a film, and as a story, it faltered in a few regards for me, and I think those flaws kept me from absolutely loving it.

    I've discovered a good deal of extremely solid documentaries on Netflix lately, and was hoping my enthusiasm for Crip Camp would be similarly strong. Yet maybe I'm starting to notice a distinct formula to some of them. The editing style, the music, the pacing, and even the opening credits- so many aspects are starting to feel very similar. It's a side note, and maybe not worth bringing up right now, but it's interesting nevertheless.

    The main problem with Crip Camp is the way in which its story is told, or more accurately, how its two stories are told. Because to me, this documentary combines two short documentaries into one; one is about a camp for disabled children in the 1970s, and the other is about a group of disability activists teaming together to get more rights for disabled people in America during the late 1970s to early 1980s. Even with some individuals in the camp being involved in this second part, I still didn't really feel a strong connection between the two stories. They try to drive it home in the film's epilogue, with a voiceover suggesting that the spirit of the camp drove them to fight for disabled rights later on in their lives, but I just didn't feel it. I got the sense I was being told this rather than shown it, and it made the early camp scenes feel a little pointless as a result.

    Unfortunately, the scenes about taking on the government aren't a whole lot more interesting. The stock footage isn't too compelling, and doesn't convey much information. It comes down to the narration to tell the story again, but everything's structured in a flat, kind of uninteresting way. The basic story is interesting, and noteworthy, and important, but this whole chunk of the movie really just goes through the motions, reciting in a tedious manner what happened before reaching a decently emotional but very sudden conclusion where the filmmakers attempt to tie it all together. I just didn't buy it, and maybe that's more on me. But I can't help feeling like little effort was put into presenting this story in an interesting, engaging way.

    It's a disappointment, but the efforts behind the film, the message, and the recognition of what these people did keeps it from being bad. It's just all quite narratively flat and dull to me. There's little in the way of emotional resonance too, besides the aforementioned moving epilogue (that nevertheless does clash with the rest of the film, in being quite suddenly and heavily sentimental). Give it a shot. Everyone else seems to really like it, and I might be one of the only naysayers. And even then, it's far from terrible. It doesn't say anything dangerous, it's not biased, and it does seem to come from respectful, genuine filmmakers. It's just a shame I didn't find it as engaging as I wanted or expected to.
  • I just watched Crip Camp for the second time, as a viewing was assigned for a college course I am taking about special education. Honestly, although I recommend it, I doubt I would ever have re-watched it if not for the course. I agree with a previous reviewer that the documentary seems like it would be more effective as two different films. Yes, most of the pioneering disability rights activists apparently met while they were teens at Crip Camp, but the film does not entirely succeed in showing the link between their experiences at the camp--however life-transforming--and the genesis and eventual hard-won successes of the fight for the most basic rights for people with disabilities. Still, it is well worth a viewing.
  • While executive-produced by the Obamas, to think that the tragedy this documentary unravels--which is the everyday struggle of disabled people--is dramatized out of proportion would be a careless prejudice. This is focused strictly on the facts and the decades that these facts spawn across.

    That doesn't mean that Netflix straight up ignores the details of these disabilities. The people depicted are all very candid about their various situations, but instead of finding a shoulder to cry on, they are viewed for what they actually are--heroes, paragons of success. A lot of them go into vivid stories about their sexuality--yes, of course they are sexually active!

    The documentary starts with the spark which ignited a landmark movement which forever changed the US Constitution--and the entire world's for that matter--when it comes to Civil Rights for disabled people. Jened was homemade--it had people with no background into caring for the disabled, yet it contained something more powerful. It allowed them to be themselves. They were everywhere. Their own world, their own normality encapsulated by the bigger unsuspecting world. This was the key which gave birth to an idea--that this bubble should pop all over the world, that when given the opportunity to express themselves, disabled people have at least as much to offer to the world as the rest of us, that they are more human than the world ever knows.

    From the existential theme at Jened, the documentary then fasts-forward over decades ensuing a historical fight. It boldly depicts leader Judith Heumann as a well-deserving comparison to Martin Luther King Jr. Yet the most iconic moments are contained in the Herculean efforts these people pulled when they spent days partaking in a hunger strike for their rights--a determination that few people--not to mention disabled--have.

    The amount of time and list of US presidents this documentary burns through showed mercilessly how slow, inapt and opaque politics can get. Yet the fact that these people saw it through goes to show that not all heroes wear capes... some can't even stand up on their own two feet.
  • The Documentary takes it's title from an insensitive nickname for Camp Jened, a summer camp for the disabled, founded in 1951. The Doc focuses on a group of attendees in the summer of 1971 (which included filmmaker James LeBrecht, who co-Directs with Nicole Newnham). At the time, Jened was being run by self-described hippies. One of the interviewees describes the place as their Woodstock which had been held nearby just a couple of summers prior (there's even a sequence when the camp counselors lead a sing-a-long of the Grateful Dead's 'What A Long Strange Trip It's Been'). That younger generation is known for advocating for civil rights, women's rights and gay rights but a lesser known movement was the early stages of rights for the disabled. A good number of the campers not only became friends, but, also became players in the disability rights movements, in particular, the indefatigable Judith Heumann.

    Heumann, LeBrecht and Camp Jened members participated in the protests that led to the 1973 Rehabilitation Act (signed by Nixon, but not enforced), the 1977 San Francisco sit-ins that forced Secretary Joseph Califano into finally putting teeth into the act), suffered through Ronald Reagan's budget axe and eventually, the landmark 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act signed by Bush, Sr..

    This second and longer section of the Documentary is very well done and certainly heartfelt, but, the opening section at Camp Jened is the heart and soul of the movie. Fortunately, a group called the People's Video Theater documented the camp in 1971 on 1/2 inch Videotape - and, even more miraculously, the tapes survived. What those tapes reveal are the campers in all their unguarded glory. The laughter, the tears and, for many of them, their first sexual experiences (an outbreak of the crabs is squeamishly detailed). The legislation was long overdue and important, but CRIP CAMP is more about just showing the individuals as people. LeBrecht and Newnham let everybody speak for themselves,no matter how halting their speech. It's never edited for time. They are just being themselves in front of the camera. The footage during the S.F. sit-in also needs special mention of local TV reporter Evan White who literally embedded with the protesters.

    CRIP CAMP falls into the 'advocacy documentary' category (few warts are discussed), but what elevates it is the way in which the viewer is invited to participate with the Camp Jened campers. It shows in it's own way why it's very title is both a reminder of the past, but also that there is still work to do to eliminate it's "insensitive" moniker.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Act 1 - 8.1

    Act 2 - 8.4

    Act 3 - 9.4

    This is a life changing moment in American history that I am glad to have learned about

    Presented perfectly through archive footage at the camp by some of the campers and photos and news coverage

    Film opens by introducing us to the campers and counselors at Camp Jened

    We learn about the impact of the camp on everyone and the bonds that were formed

    Camp gave these kids a platform to belong and express themselves and gain confidence to use in the real world

    Judy took the inclusive philosophy and and used it to lead protests in NY, LA and DC to fight for the rights of disabled individuals

    Shows the incredible lengths that were taken to fight for their rights and the significance of their moments of triumph

    Film is very emotional and hit me very hard

    A beautiful film that teaches acceptance and shows that anybody can do anything

    Camp Jened really did help change the world and got laws paced in the American government to make the world a better place

    A must watch to learn, experience and feel

    60's kids being sent to institutions with disabilities

    Summer camp run by hippies for kids with disabilities, changed lives

    Camp near Woodstock in NY

    Camp Jened

    Great footage from the camp

    Camp evolved from 50's to 60's to 70's to let kids be kids in the time and explore their freedom and coward way of thinking

    Footage from one of the campers

    About the counselor and the kids and the bonds

    Free flowing place

    Kids weren't integrated in normal classes and were put in special classes

    About acceptance and understanding

    Does focus on the kid who filmed a lot of the stuff

    Romances bloomed

    Current interviews looking at the past

    Crab outbreak

    Kids are pretty funny too, real personalities

    Awesome community that built

    Disability act wasn't passed yet and could keep out people because of it

    Kids express their feelings and are open about them, no judgement

    Sad when the summer camp would end and they had to leave their utopia to go back to the judgmental real world

    Hard going back to the real world that is against them

    One of the handicapped counselors gets news time for her political group to try and improve their lives

    Judy started the group to try and help others

    In NY see a piece on the terrible treatment of disabled kids in a hospital that is understaffed, horrible, heart breaking

    The disabled institutions are truly heart breaking to see the mistreatment

    Rehabilitation act of 72, section 504 an anti discrimination law against anybody, Nixon vetoed it because of cost

    Disabled Inaction led by Judy started a protest in NY cutting off streets, awesome

    All while Vietnam is going on so not much cover on them as all media is focused on the war

    Protests are beautiful, fighting for equal treatment

    Nixon signs the rehab bill but don't enforce section 504 which is supposed to help them

    So many awesome stories and people connected to this camp and the Revolution

    Berkeley became a great place for people from Jened, great place for disabled people

    CIL in Berkeley was a new great place to help disabled people, the camp basically reunited there

    Just wanted to live normal lives and got that opportunity in Berkeley

    In 77 still fighting for section 504 with more protests

    People didn't want to pay the money to make buildings accessible

    Sustain a demonstration in the HEW headquarters to try and get their rights even though they try to force them out

    Black Panthers helped with their protest because they are fighting for the same thing

    Another reunion of people from Jened fighting for change

    Judy made sure everybody was heard, great leader

    Local media ignored the event except for one reporter who actually cared, helped get the word out there

    Same fight as Brown vs Board of Education, just want to be equal

    Emotional fight

    Judy gives an amazing speech

    Day 15 some leave the protest to go try and see the president, lead by Judy

    FBI continues to mess with people protesting in San Fran 22 days

    Awesome archive footage and photos

    Paints a picture of the story beautifully

    ABC finally shows the footage of the protests, national coverage now

    Day 24 the regulations were signed, national coverage made the change

    No fan gate but got the job done that would change their lives

    Let handicapped people into public schools

    Made the US government sign in a law, incredible

    Federally funded places must be wheelchair friendly, so insane they changed the world

    Had to fight Regan administration years later to make sure the rules were enforced, only made federally funded building follow the rules

    Fight continues

    Try to get a bill into congress to cover everywhere and everyone 1990

    Americans with Disabilities Act 1990 passed by George HW Bush after more fighting

    Everyone now equal under law it still need society to be accepting

    Go back to the site of the camp that changed the world

    51-77 the camp was open

    Everyone goes back and sees each other

    Larry Allison creates the amazing camp

    Judy worked with the government to keep things goin and advancing for others

  • A documentary about an American summer camp in the 1970's exclusively for disabled children, and the political activism that was given energy and direction as a result, When I first became aware of the film, I feared a tacky 'inspiration' sort of thing; this film certainly isn't that. The first 45 minutes or so about the camp itself I found fasicnating watch, which said much that resonates - not least the power of enabling people to be around those who have similar journeys to themselves. This can result in all sorts of things, and the documentary gives a good and moving airing to this. The rest of the film - around an hour - is the story of the political activism, lobbying hard for changes to laws and the enacting of laws to outlaw discrimination on the grounds of disability.. It's a story that's worth telling and hearing - though, for me, my attention drifted and it felt like a genuinely interesting story was not being done justice in terms of holding attention or connecting properly with the first part of the film.
  • BandSAboutMovies4 June 2020
    Warning: Spoilers
    Executive produced by President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, this documentary is all about Camp Jened, a camp for the handicapped in the Catskills that offered young kids the opportunity to move beyond their confined lives and feel as if they were like anyone else. The things they learned there would stay with them their entire lives.

    Many of the campers would find themselves in Berkeley, California, where they learned that disruption and unity would change not only their lives, but the lives of disabled individuals throughout the nation.

    I knew nothing of the battle that these brave people went through or how hard they worked and how well they came together to make changes. This one really got to me, hitting every emotion and causing big tears.

    This is definitely recommended, as there are many lesson here for all of us to learn.
  • A Netflix original from last year which is currently Oscar nominated for Best Documentary feature. Back in the early 70's, footage was shot of a unique summer camp which catered exclusively to the handicapped. That the establishment was run by a bunch of outsiders & hippies informed the disposition of the residency carrying their ethos ('treat everyone as equals') w/them into their everyday lives. Tracing some of the members of that community (both kids & counselors) through the years gives light to the advocacy they engaged in to get theirs in the world (handicap accessibility through proposition 504 became a particular beacon of congregation in the fight) as they protest, perform sit-in's & most importantly try to live normal lives. Definitely a doc that exudes the good deeds ethos of the 60's which shows a gathering of like minds can accomplish anything.
  • This fascinating documentary connects a 60s hippy-dippy camp for disabled people with the fight through the 70s for disabled rights. It beautifully balances the personal and the political, offers an inspiring look at a very uphill climb, and is told with a mix of humor, sensitivity, and inspiration.

    Terrific, must-watch movie.
  • Analog_Devotee28 April 2021
    Seriously, phenomenal. I've been docu-thumping this to my friends constantly since watching it.
  • bayleetf27 April 2021
    Warning: Spoilers
    Crip Camp is an eye-opening film that documents the experiences of several individuals with developmental and acquired disabilities during 1970s. It shows how a summer camp made for individuals with disabilities impacted the lives of campers by giving them confidence and showing them they have a voice. The former campers discussed how freeing Camp Jened was for them and how it provided them with a sense of community. The movie went on to describe the disabled civil rights movie and how Camp Jened helped the former campers and counselors become advocates and fight for equal rights and accessibility.

    With it being on Netflix, the film is available to a large and diverse audience. It brings attention to the disabled civil rights movements that is typically not talked about in school systems like other civil rights movements. It gives viewers an insight of the different conditions that individuals with disabilities had to live before and during this time. This movie also provides a special look into these people's lives and how they were changed by a camp that provided them a community to explore themselves and their bodies. I think anybody could benefit from this movie and take away something crucial that can change their life.

    The overall impact that this movie had on me personally and professionally was eye-opening. I never knew how many more obstacles this population had to face besides just living with their disability, which was so much more difficult than the life I have. It showed me the importance of advocating for these individuals as well as encouraging them to advocate for themselves. These individuals have a voice and it's important we allow them to use it. This documentary also showed me the importance of treating individuals with disabilities just like the humans that they are. They deserve to be able to make decisions for themselves and live the lives that they want to.
  • Crip Camp documentary tells us the importance of Camp Jenet (summer camp) for the Americans with Disabilities Act movement.

    Frankly, I did not know the struggles and endurance that this group led by Judy Heumann went thru between the 70s and 90s to have their right recognized and imposed by the government. The impact was tremendously around the World.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Crip camp is a movie about the disability rights movement in the 70s and a summer camp for handicapped people. The intended audience is teens and up. It was made to inform the viewer of the disability rights movement. I didn't know what to expect of this documentary as I didn't have much knowledge of this movement. The movie was mainly about wheelchair users, their struggles day to day, a camp that made them feel normal, and how that inspired them to make the US more accessible. It was well filmed, especially because most of the footage they had to use was from the 70s on low quality, black and white cameras. The film did a great job of giving an idea of what these people went through to make their day to day life and experiences more like what most of us have been lucky enough to have from birth. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone thinking of watching this.
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