This was my second time watching Crip Camp, and I think I got even more out of it this time around. The first time, I was just overwhelmed with information. Why hadn't I learned any of this in school before? How does the movement exist now? What else did this movement accomplish that did not get featured in the film or in curricula? Questions buzzed in my brain for many weeks afterward and I convinced many more people to watch the film just so I could discuss it with someone.
I am many things, but I am definitely a camp person. My first exposure to anybody with a disability that I can recall was at my summer camp, and I completely understand the ways in which camp can be a life-changing place, particularly when you are around people who do not know you in any other aspect of your life. I think it was Jim LeBrecht in the movie who noted that at Camp Jened, he got to be the cool, popular kid that he never got to be when he was the only disabled person around. I think framing this mainly historical documentary through a camp lens was a great stylistic choice and definitely allowed me to understand and empathize with all of the folks in it on a deeper level. It humanized each and every person in the film, which, as we know, is not very common for disabled people in media.
The second time around, I just enjoyed it. I enjoyed the humor and lightheartedness of the individuals combined with their fierce determination to succeed. I noted the intersectionality within the movement but questioned the lack of class/socioeconomic intersectionality. I noted the heavy presence of women in leadership positions in the movement but acknowledged that all of them were individuals who communicated in our traditionally acceptable way. Just sitting back and getting to watch the film without working overtime to grasp historical plot points was really enjoyable, and I would definitely recommend a re-watch to anyone.