Sep 4, 2008

If I may get serious a moment...

Almost a year ago I saw a trailor for a movie that I really hoped was going to be brilliant. I posted about it here. It was in theaters in a very limited release, and then went to DVD without much publicity, which is really a shame. The movie is called Music Within. This is a synopsis of the film:

Richard Pimentel (Ron Livingston) begins his life as a fighter, and his life's work becomes a process of fighting for the rights of others. Rising up from a childhood in a dysfunctional family, armed with a talent for public speaking and a winning personality, the young man makes his way to a Northwestern college, confident that he will ace his try-out for his idol Dr. Ben Padrow (Hector Elizondo), the coach of the winningest team in the history of the College Bowl. But Dr. Padrow shatters his dream when he rejects him. Richard's immediate reaction is to enlist in the army for a tour of duty in Vietnam. During combat, the young recruit loses his hearing to a bomb blast, and has to deal with this newfound disability on his return to civilian life in Oregon. Richard discovers that his disability and the struggle to transcend it is a defining moment in his fight for what he believes in. When he tries to help his friends, vets like himself and others with disabilities, to get work in an environment that treats them with pity at best and disdain as a matter of course, he realizes that he can make a difference. The friends who make up his close-knit clique are: Art Honneyman (Michael Sheen), a student wheel chair user with cerebral palsy who uses his rapier wit to deflect the prejudice that greets his disturbing appearance; Mike Stoltz (Yul Vázquez), a fellow veteran with a lot of rage and nowhere to put it; and then there is Christine (Melissa George), the passionate libertine who strokes Richard's ego and initiates him into the world of free love. Together, the friends experience the currents of those turbulent times, and the wild, joyful energy of winning through confrontation and humor. Without his hearing Richard is all the more prepared to listen to the message deep within himself, and to carry that message to the thousands of people whose lives are improved by the movement he helps to organize.

I finally found it and watched it the other night. It is a movie that deserves better than what it got, which was largely ignored. Besides the incredible performances, it is important to see where we were as a society just a few years ago to where we are now. All of us that have children with any kind of special needs owe a huge debt to Richard Pimentel for shepherding the Americans With Disabilities Act through from conception to law.

Here are a couple of samples, sorry there is some repeated material in here. I searched through a lot of stuff for the more important video clips and interviews.


  1. This movie looks very good. It's not out on DVD in the UK yet, but I may invest in a Region 1 copy.

  2. Salute to hero in a just cause.


  3. Looks like a great one! I'll have to keep an eye out for it. Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. looks like one i'll have to go rent

  5. Grand. It's going on and getting bumped to th' top of Netflix.

    Thank you!

  6. I can't wait. I will see if LK will pick it up on his way home. I was blessed to know my Great Aunt Jinner who worked to find people with disabilities jobs my entire life.