The representation of people with disabilities has exploded on Russian screens since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Most encouraging has been the rise in self-representations by disabled people and their allies, as evidenced by the bi-annual Breaking Down Barriers International Disability Film Festival in Moscow (now in its sixth incarnation), with works from all over the former Soviet sphere. Not all these films, however, depict disability in unproblematic ways (from a Western point of view). This presentation, based on research at the archives of the Perspektiva NGO (which sponsors the film festival) and supported by the Harlan Hahn award, will provide an overview of the main trends in post-Soviet cinema by and about disabled people, with an emphasis on independent work. The talk concludes with a discussion of one of the most celebrated and controversial recent films, the documentary "Anton’s Right Here" (Anton tut riadom, d. Liubov Arkus, 2012), about a young man with autism.
Those interested in a preview of the talk’s themes may read my review of the 2006 Breaking Down Barriers festival here: http://www.kinokultura.com/2007/16-alaniz.shtml.