Official release poster
|Music by||Bear McCreary|
Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution is a 2020 American documentary film directed, written and co-produced by Nicole Newnham and James LeBrecht. Barack and Michelle Obama serve as executive producers under their Higher Ground Productions banner.
Crip Camp starts in 1971 at Camp Jened, a summer camp in New York described as a "loose, free-spirited camp designed for teens with disabilities". Starring Larry Allison, Judith Heumann, James LeBrecht, Denise Sherer Jacobson, and Stephen Hofmann, the film focuses on those campers who turned themselves into activists for the disability rights movement and follows their fight for accessibility legislation.
The idea to make the film about Camp Jened started "with an off-hand comment at lunch". James LeBrecht had worked with Nicole Newnham for 15 years as a co-director. LeBrecht was born with spina bifida and uses a wheelchair to get around, and had never seen a documentary related to his "life's work as a disability rights advocate". At the end of the lunch meeting, LeBrecht told Newnham: "You know, I've always wanted to see this film made about my summer camp", and she replied with "Oh, that's nice, why?", after explaining why he wanted to make a film, Newnham told The Guardian "then he completely blew my mind". Newnham explained:
What Jim and I always felt is that we wanted the film to bring people into the world of Camp Jened, to give them that experience themselves: arriving at camp, checking out the scene, maybe feeling a little bit uncomfortable, not sure what's going on, not sure if they speak the language. Then, over time, they'd come to feel like this is a world that is fun and joyous and liberating for them as viewers, just like it was for Jim. Jim's personal story would bring you into that.
Crip Camp had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2020. The film was released on March 25, 2020, by Netflix. The film was set to be released in a limited release that same day, but the theatrical release was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 100% based on 84 reviews, with an average rating of 8.63/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "As entertaining as it is inspiring, Crip Camp uses one group's remarkable story to highlight hope for the future and the power of community." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 86 out of 100, based on 29 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote, "this indispensable documentary defines what it means to call a movie 'inspiring'." Justin Chang writing for Los Angeles Times said that "[the film] delivers an appreciably blunt message". Benjamin Lee of The Guardian wrote, "this impactful film shines a light on a forgotten fight for equality". Daniel Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "My only hope is that the confrontational title and the Obama branding don't scare some viewers away from a story that is truly non-partisan, humane and significant". Peter Debruge writing for Variety said, "[the film] proves to be the most educational for those born into a post-ADA world, a world of self-opening doors and accessible bathroom stalls and ramps that take wheelchairs into consideration".
Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair wrote, "The spirit of revolution—righteously angry yet full of bonhomie, demanding but generous in its reach—is alive and well in the film. As, one hopes, it is everywhere else". Carlos Ríos Espinosa of Human Rights Watch wrote, "The film made me realize the importance of building spaces for people with disabilities to organize". Katie Rife of The A.V. Club wrote, "[the film] will serve as an enlightening look at how much has changed in the past 50 years". Jake Coyle writing for The Washington Post wrote, "[the film] has a specific starting point but it unfolds as a broader chronicle of a decades-long fight for civil rights—one that has received less attention than other 20th century struggles for equity".
Awards and nominations
|2020||Sundance Film Festival||Audience Award||Won|||
|Grand Jury Prize||Nominated|
|Miami International Film Festival||Best Documentary||Nominated|||
|Zeno Mountain Award||Won|
|Critics' Choice Award||Best Documentary Feature||Nominated|||
- 2020 in film
- Crip (disability term)
- Disability rights movement
- List of original films distributed by Netflix
- "An Obamas-Produced Doc Takes Viewers Inside the Birth of the Disability Rights Movement". Time. Archived from the original on 2020-03-25. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
- "Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution". Rotten Tomatoes.
- Lee, Benjamin (2020-03-24). "Crip Camp review – rousing Netflix documentary traces disability rights movement". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 2020-03-26. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
- "Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution Reviews". Archived from the original on 2020-03-26. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
- Debruge, Peter (2020-01-24). "'Crip Camp': Film Review". Variety. Archived from the original on 2020-03-02. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
- Horton, Adrian (2020-03-25). "'It blew my mind': the incredible story of Netflix's feelgood Crip Camp". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 2020-03-25. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
- Wilkinson, Alissa (2020-03-25). "The disability community has a lot to teach a world in crisis, say the directors of Crip Camp". Vox. Archived from the original on 2020-03-25. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
- "Crip Camp". Sundance Film Festival. Retrieved June 13, 2020.
- Siegel, Tatiana (December 4, 2019). "Sundance Unveils Female-Powered Lineup Featuring Taylor Swift, Gloria Steinem, Abortion Road Trip Drama". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 13, 2020.
- Dry, Jude (March 11, 2020). "'Crip Camp' Trailer: Sundance Audience Winner Charts History of Disability Rights Movement". IndieWire. Retrieved June 13, 2020.
- Whipp, Glenn (March 20, 2020). "Film academy considers Oscar eligibility rules change with coronavirus theater closings". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 13, 2020.
- "Crip Camp (2020)". Archived from the original on 2020-03-26. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
- Travers, Peter (2020-03-25). "'Crip Camp' Review: Netflix Doc Revisits Ground Zero for Disability Rights Movement". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2020-03-26. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
- "Review: Netflix's 'Crip Camp' chronicles the birth of the disability rights movement". Los Angeles Times. 2020-03-24. Archived from the original on 2020-03-25. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
- "'Crip Camp': Film Review | Sundance 2020". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2020-03-26. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
- Lawson, Richard. "Crip Camp Is the Kind of Inspiration We Need Right Now". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on 2020-03-26. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
- "'Crip Camp' Tells the Story of the US Disability Rights Movement". Human Rights Watch. 2020-03-24. Archived from the original on 2020-03-26. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
- "Netflix's Crip Camp is a different kind of summer camp movie". Film. Archived from the original on 2020-03-26. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
- Coyle, Jake. "In 'Crip Camp,' a rare spotlight for disability rights". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 26 March 2020. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
- Debruge, Peter (2020-02-02). "Sundance Winners: 'Minari' and 'Boys State' Take Top Honors". Variety. Archived from the original on 2020-03-26. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
- "Awards 2020". Miami Film Festival. Archived from the original on 2020-03-26. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
- Thompson, Anne (2020-10-26). "'Crip Camp,' 'Gunda,' and 'Mr. Soul!' Lead Critics Choice Documentary Awards Nominations". IndieWire. Retrieved 2020-10-26.