Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht’s feature documentary “Crip Camp” starts off like any other summer camp story: Kids of different backgrounds meet up, hook up, and fall into a series of youthful hijinks.
The only distinction is that the residents of Camp Jened are teens with disabilities. But what “Crip Camp” uncovers about Camp Jened is that the site would eventually sow the seeds for a disability rights movement that would have long-lasting implications decades later.
LeBrecht had always wanted to tell a story about his time at Jened, a place where he found liberation, joy, and a sense of normalcy outside of his home. So when he met up with Newnham, a director he had worked with for 15 years doing the sound design and mixing on her documentaries, the two started brainstorming on a project they could work on together.
Newnham said she had watched LeBrecht “spend a lot of his time and energy as an advocate for better representation for people with disabilities,” especially disabled filmmakers, so when he brought up his time at Camp Jened it seemed, for LeBrecht especially, “like a golden opportunity.”
“Crip Camp” arrives March 25 on Netflix.
Read the story at IndieWire.
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