Tag Archives: handicap

On Tour: Reading, PA

2 May

April 12, 2017 | States of Grace | Reading, PA

It’s almost 400 miles to Reading and I can’t believe I’ve logged close to 1700 miles already.  I’m finding endurance I didn’t know I had and am enjoying seeing the countryside in such a variety of locales.

The Miller Center is a great venue in the midst of a community that is almost 60% Latino.  An ESL class in civics makes up a significant part of the audience and I’m happy to be able to offer Spanish subtitles which a couple of the students need.  Brett, the technical director, is able to make this change at the last minute and we do a final sound check while people already seated in the theatre look on.

Watching the film with these subtitles is a first for me.  We’ve shown it with English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired and with audio description for the blind and visually prepared, but not in Spanish.  I’m very glad we can accommodate so many different types of audiences.

Talking with Brett earlier, I realize that I need to rethink my notion of audience and how to gauge the impact of the film. It turns out that Brett was on the review committee that helped select the films for OSIP and has a son with Cerebral Palsy, which Sabrina also has.  He brought the film home to show his wife and we talk a bit about raising a child with a disability and some of the life decisions he’s made to accommodate his son.


For Q&A Cathleen Stephen, the director of the Miller Center, has invited Cynthia Huls, director of Visiting Angels, a home care service, and Zuleyka Lopez, one of her home care providers, to participate.  Cynthia notes that in her experience, the level of support Grace has through her many networks of friends and colleagues is unusual and that many of the people they care for are far more isolated. Everyone agrees that emotional support plays a critical part in caregiving and Zuleyka notes that there are times she just sits with her patients keeping them company.

Post provided by On Screen/In Person filmmaker Mark Lipman


On Tour: Bloomsburg, PA

2 May

April 3, 2017 | States of Grace | Bloomsburg, PA


In all my years of filmmaking I’ve never toured like this with a film so I’ve been really looking forward to it, though the amount of driving is a bit daunting.  The flight from San Francisco to Newark is mercifully uneventful, except for being delayed an hour and a half by some of the crew not showing up.  On my way to Bloomsburg the next morning, I stop for a walk through the Great Swamp National Refuge.  Spring has been in full force in the Bay Area since February, but is just starting to poke through here.


The screening takes place in Gross Auditorium in Carver Hall, a beautiful theater that has terrific projection and sound.  The audience is small but I’m sitting behind a woman whose head nods often in response to the film which makes me very curious to know more about her.  Turns out that Brenda saw an article about the screening that mentioned Laguna Honda Hospital where Grace worked as a physician both before and after her accident on the Golden Gate Bridge.  And Laguna Honda is near and dear to her heart, having read “God’s Hotel,” a terrific book by Dr. Victoria Sweet who was a physician there for twenty  years and is a colleague of Grace’s.


The hospital started as an alms house for the poor 150 years ago, serving San Francisco’s neediest people, and morphed into a hospital as it expanded to serve their medical needs. The book explores the concept of “slow medicine” which has been Laguna Honda’s approach until relatively recently.  It views the body as “a garden to be tended rather than a machine to be fixed,” an approach that guided Grace’s creation of the HIV/AIDS clinic there in 1990.  She and her partner, Dr. Daniel Rybold, signed over 1000 death certificates during that period and Grace was honored for her work by the Dalai Lama.


The Q&A focuses a lot on approaches to healing and Brenda even reads a couple of paragraphs from a copy of “God’s Hotel” that she brought with her.  Nancy Pressman, who is involved with local rehab services, also provides information about resources that are available to the community.

Post provided by On Screen/In Person  filmmaker Mark Lipman

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