Women Make Movies is proud to spotlight films that explore the lives and triumphs of people with disabilities. These films engage in meaningful dialogue about accessibility, inclusion, and the fight for equal rights.

This month, take a moment to watch influential films like Neurodivergent (2022), which documents filmmaker Afton Quast Saler exploring her recent ADHD diagnosis, Defiant Lives (2017), which explores the origins of the disability rights movement, and Dialogues with Madwomen (1993), where seven women describe their experiences with manic depression, multiple personalities, schizophrenia, euphoria, and recovery.

*This month, use code DP2024 for 15% off all films in this collection*


In this profoundly personal mixed-media experience inside the ADHD mind, a 35-year-old film student interrogates her past and future, while trying to make sense of this misunderstood disorder.
Learn more

Fannie Lou Hamer's America

FANNIE LOU HAMER’S AMERICA, winner of Best TV Feature Documentary or miniseries at the IDA Awards, is a portrait of Mississippi sharecropper-turned-human-rights-activist, Fannie Lou Hamer, one of the Civil Rights Movement’s greatest leaders.
Learn more

The R-Word

A 28 minute educational version is also available, email [email protected] for details. THE R-WORD is an intimate look at the history of the word ‘retard(ed),’ cultural representation, and the challenges and triumphs of people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Learn more

Defiant Lives

DEFIANT LIVES is a triumphant film that traces the origins of the world-wide disability rights movement.
Learn more

Shadow Girl

SHADOW GIRL is the extraordinary story of a filmmaker struggling with the prospect of losing her vision.
Learn more

On Beauty

From Emmy®-nominated IN THE FAMILY filmmaker Joanna Rudnick and Chicago’s Kartemquin Films comes a story about challenging norms and redefining beauty. ON BEAUTY follows fashion photographer Rick Guidotti, who left the fashion world when he grew frustrated with having to work within the restrictive parameters of the industry’s standard of beauty. After a chance encounter with a young woman who had the genetic condition albinism, Rick re-focused his lens on those too often relegated to the shadows to change the way we see and experience beauty. At the center of ON BEAUTY are two of Rick's photo subjects: Sarah and Jayne. In eighth grade Sarah left public school because she was bullied so harshly for the birthmark on her face and brain. Jayne lives with albinism in Eastern Africa where society is blind to her unique health and safety needs and where witch doctors hunt people with her condition to sell their body parts. We follow Rick as he uses his lens to challenge convention and media’s narrow scope of with the help of two extraordinary women.
Learn more

Service: When Women Come Marching Home

Women make up 15 percent of today's military. That number is expected to double in 10 years. SERVICE highlights the resourcefulness of seven amazing women who represent the first wave of mothers, daughters and sisters returning home from the frontless wars of Iraq and Afghanistan. Portraying the courage of women veterans as they transition from active duty to their civilian lives, this powerful film describes the horrific traumas they have faced, the inadequate care they often receive on return, and the large and small accomplishments they work mightily to achieve. These are the stories we hear about from men returning from war, but rarely from women veterans. Through compelling portraits, we watch these women wrestle with prostheses, homelessness, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Military Sexual Trauma. The documentary takes the audience on a journey from the deserts of Afghanistan and Iraq to rural Tennessee and urban New York City, from coping with amputations, to flashbacks, triggers and depression to ways to support other vets. An eye-opening look at the specific challenges facing women veterans with a special focus on the disabled, SERVICE can be used for courses in military studies, women’s studies, peace and conflict courses and veteran support groups.
Learn more

Scarlet Road

Impassioned about freedom of sexual expression, Australian sex worker Rachel Wotton specializes in a long overlooked clientele— people with disabilities. Working in New South Wales—where prostitution is legal— Rachel’s philosophy is that human touch and sexual intimacy can be the most therapeutic aspects to our existence. Indeed, she is making a dramatic impact on the lives of her customers, many of whom are confined to wheelchairs or cannot speak or move unaided. Through her graduate studies and her nonprofit group Touching Base, Rachel both fights for the rights of sex workers and promotes awareness and access to sexual expression for the disabled through sex work—and brings together these two often marginalized groups. We follow her from conducting sex and disability workshops to speaking to the World Congress on Sexual Health about her mission to observing her overnight stays with severely disabled clients who blossom under her attention—with one man even gaining back lost movement and sensation thanks to his time spent with her. Rachel has made it her life’s work to end the stigma surrounding these populations; the depth, humor and passion in this positive and pro-active documentary will transform the way we see sex workers and people with disabilities forever.
Learn more

Voices Heard Sisters Unseen

VOICES HEARD SISTERS UNSEEN is a powerful and inspirational film showing how survivors of domestic violence are working to change the way the system treats battered women in search of justice and safety. Interviews, poetry, dance and music combine to present a feminist analysis about how courts, police and social services 're-victimize' battered women who are deaf, disabled, lesbians, prostitutes, HIV-positive or without official immigrant status. VOICES HEARD SISTERS UNSEEN is an important call for multi-issue activism and an integrated response to services for battered women.
Learn more

Double the Trouble, Twice the Fun

A rare and lively examination of disability and homosexuality as it affects both women and men
Learn more

Positive Images

People with disabilities constitute nearly twenty percent of the American population. Sexism and often racism compound discrimination based on disability. Designed to provide positive, realistic pictures of the lives of women with disabilities and the social, economic, and political issues they face, POSITIVE IMAGES focuses on three strong and articulate women. Offering crucial role models for women and girls with disabilities, this powerful film also locates disability as a women's issue of concern to us all by discussing education, employment and careers, sexuality, family life and parenting, and societal attitudes.
Learn more

Dialogues with Madwomen

"I was always so afraid that someone would ask me (where I was when JFK was shot), and I would have to say I was in a mental institution", says director Allie Light. This moving and informative film features seven women--including the filmmaker--describing their experiences with manic depression, multiple personalities, schizophrenia, euphoria and recovery. Candid interviews are enriched with dramatic reenactments and visualizations of each woman's history, emotions, and dreams--the private symbols of madness and sanity. The social dimensions of women and mental illness are revealed in testimony about sexual assault, incest, racism and homophobia, the abuses of the medical establishment, family, and church. Acknowledging that "madness" is often a way of explaining women's self-expression, this film charges us to listen to the creativity and courage of survivors. Produced by the Academy Award winning filmmakers of IN THE SHADOWS OF THE STARS, DIALOGUES WITH MADWOMEN is a ground-breaking film about women and mental illness.
Learn more
Shopping Cart