October is National Disability Awareness Month, a time to learn about issues facing people with disabilities and celebrate their contributions. Kū Kanaka/Stand Tall, by Marlene Booth, follows a young disabled Native Hawaiian man, whose traumatic accident leads him to find healing through his indigenous language and history, and fight for his people. Tocando la Luz (Touch the Light , by Jennifer Redfearn, tells the story of three blind women in Havana, Cuba, who pursue their dreams while illuminating Cuba’s current economic and social landscape. Sins Invalid: An Unshamed Claim to Beauty documents a Bay Area performance project that highlights people of color and queer people with disabilities, creating work about disability, sexuality and social justice. See more films about disability here.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and New Day has a number of films that explore this often unseen undercurrent that exists in so many people’s lives. Power and Control: Domestic Violence in America, by Peter Cohn, follows a mother of three in Duluth, MN, as she struggles to protect herself and her children. (Peter Cohn has also made two companion films: Domestic Violence and Law Enforcement, and Domestic Violence and Health Care.) Men are Human, Women are Buffalo, by Joanne Hershfield, mixes interviews and puppetry to tell five stories about violence against women in Thailand, where it is reported that 44 percent of women have been abused by a partner or stranger. Justice for my Sister, by Kimberly Bautista, follows a Guatemalan woman through a three-year battle to hold her sister’s killer accountable, in one of the few cases of domestic violence murder in Guatemala that has resulted in a conviction.