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2023 Sociology Film Series Highlights Disability Stories



January 20, 2023

For the first time since the pandemic, the Department of Sociology will present its annual Sociology Film Series in person this winter. The series, featuring three films focused on medical sociology, underscores key concepts being taught in the classroom and provides a platform for people living with disabilities to share their stories.

Each film, The Reason I Jump, Unrest and My Beautiful Broken Brain, illustrates the social stigma and biographical disruptions faced by people with disabilities and chronic illness.

“These films are all firsthand accounts of the experience of disability, and because of that perspective they are a valuable opportunity for our students,” said Brad Nabors, PhD, assistant teaching professor of sociology and film series co-organizer along with Jessica Cohen, PhD, associate teaching professor of sociology. Each film will be followed by a moderated discussion. 

“These screenings will allow students to see the abstract concepts we learn about in our sociology courses play out in the stories of real people,” Nabors continued. “Hopefully, the film series may even attract new students to the field of sociology.” 

All films will be screened at 3101 Market St., Room 223. Admission is free and pizza and beverages will be included. Read more about the films below and RSVP here

The Reason I Jump — Wednesday, January 25: 6–8 p.m. 

Based on the bestselling book by Naoki Higashida, The Reason I Jump explores neurodiversity through the experiences of nonspeaking autistic people around the world. The film blends Higashida’s descriptions of his own autism with the stories of five young people, challenging our ideas about life on the spectrum. 

Unrest — Wednesday, February 8: 6–8 p.m. 

The Sundance award-winning documentary Unrest follows Jennifer Brea’s personal journey from patient to advocate to storyteller. When doctors tell Brea her Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is "all in her head," she picks up her camera to document her experience and those of others around the world, asking us to rethink the stigma around an illness that affects millions. 

My Beautiful Broken Brain — Wednesday, February 22: 6–8 p.m. 

Filmmaker Lotje Sodderland suffered a hemorrhagic stroke at age 34, resulting in a brain injury that left her unable to speak, read or write. In My Beautiful Broken Brain, she documents her journey of recovery and the new life she built in the aftermath.