Beautiful and important story that deserves to be seen widely
I had the privilege of seeing the remarkable movie "55 Steps" followed by a Q&A with Colette Hughes, co-counsel in the California case "Riese v. St. Mary's Hospital and Medical Center", which gave competent mentally ill patients the right to give informed consent to their medical treatments with limited exceptions. The story focuses on the slow development of a deeply touching friendship between Eleanor Riese, the lead plaintiff, and Hughes, and contains important lessons on how to be a competent human. The performances are outstanding, and the story is important and should be better known. Ms. Hughes has been deeply involved with the making of the movie and spoke glowingly of how the story and people are portrayed, as well as highlighting current civil rights challenges in the field of patient consent. Sadly, the movie has not received much theatrical release - ask your indy cinema theater to book it if you want to see it on the big screen as it should be seen, but it is. becoming available for streaming as well. Not an easy movie, but a beautiful one. The lead actors worked without pay, and the funding seems to have come primarily from government sources in Germany and Belgium. However, this is an American civil rights story, through and through, and Eleanor Riese and Colette Hughes along with Mortimer Cohen, the other co-counsel are all true American heroes.