Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts about a Fierce Kind of Love! I found all of these thoughts insightful and informative.
“To transform self-hatred into pride is a fundamental act of resistance” -Eli Clare, Exile and Pride (109)
I loved that I had the opportunity to watch A Fierce Kind of Love! While I enjoyed the singing and dancing, at some points I was slightly confused into how they fit into the plot. But upon further reflection, I thought it might be a political choice. This is a story of the history of the intellectual disabilities movement, and by incorporating music and dance -fields that people with disabilities are often underrepresented it - they are continuing to advance disability rights. Incorporating dance and music both empowered the actors and also problematized the norm that they shouldn’t be doing the arts. It is a fundamental act of resistance.
Some posts reflected on how it was strange to juxtapose the harsh conditions of Pennhurst and horrifying disability history with a happy message of love and art. I agree that it felt a little weird and is potentially problematic to pretend we are ending on a happy note when the struggle is on-going. However, I want to question this: I saw this juxtaposition as not contradictory, but a commentary on the nuances of resistance: there are many ways of resistance, whether it is reporting or dancing, that are different but each valuable in their own ways. History are tragic, movements are draining, but they are also filled with moments of love, art, joy, and community. Can we celebrate these moments without neglecting the trying historical and socio-political contexts? I hope we can.