Oscars 2021: A watershed moment for disability?

The Oscars are upon us once again – but change surrounds this year’s ceremony that goes far beyond the red carpet adjustments enforced by the pandemic.

As the most diverse Oscars ever in terms of nominees, the increased representation also extends to the films themselves – with disability explored in new depth.

Best picture contender Sound of Metal, about a drummer facing hearing loss, saw best actor nominee Riz Ahmed learn sign language for the role. His co-star Paul Raci, who is up for best supporting actor, is a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) and many of the other actors are deaf in real life.

Elsewhere best documentary nominee Crip Camp explores how a 70s hippie camp for disabled youths affected the US disability rights movement; while nominated short Feeling Through has been praised for being the first modern-day film to star a deafblind actor, Robert Tarango. More

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