'Freaks' on film

26th September 2003 at 01:00
Films addressing the issues of difference and disability include: Freaks (1932)

Tod Browning's unusual follow-up to his huge success with Dracula, features Siamese twins, midgets, and other real people in a tale of greed and revenge. Original audiences were shocked by its realism and it effectively ended Browning's Hollywood career. Banned in Britain for 30 years, it has since been proclaimed a classic by film revisionists. May not be considered suitable for younger viewers

The Elephant Man (1980)

With its tagline of: "I am not an animal! I am a human being! II amI a man!", David Lynch's film was a sensitive portrayal of the life of John Merrick - a deformed Victorian man who was "rescued" from freak shows by the medical profession. Nominated for eight Oscars.

Mask (1985)

Mask is based on the true story of Rocky Dennis, a boy born with a genetic defect that turned his face into a "mask" of bone. Cher won Best Actress Award at Cannes for her performance as Rocky's mother.

We Don't Want To talk About It (1993)

Story set in a small town in Argentina about a girl called Charlotte who is a dwarf. Her mother hides any books or images of small people (such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarves), and refuses to accept her daughter's condition.

For additional learning resources go to www.channel4.comlifemicrositesBbornfreak

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