James LeBrecht and Nicole Newnham’s documentary Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution traces the origins of a transformative movement back to a camp for the disabled, just down the road from Woodstock, called Camp Jened. Crip Camp shines light on a story that is not widely known, following LeBrecht, who attended Camp Jened in 1971, as well as leaders like Judy Heumann, and their journey from campers to activists on the front lines of the disability rights movement in America. Camp Jened cultivated the first real radical agenda, because living freely amongst others with disabilities led them to realize they needed to do things together outside of the camp to change the status quo. 

Crip Camp is an honest, inspiring look at the unfair sacrifices disabled people made for the sake of equality. There is a surprising lightness to the film despite the gravity of their situation, as those who tell their stories do so at times with humour. One of the strengths of the film is the utilization of archival footage that LeBrecht took at Camp Jened, allowing the viewer to be transported back to that time and feel connected to the campers that were there, which gives a unique insight into how this movement was cultivated. This is contrasted with news footage that shows how cruel the outside world really was in its treatment of disabled individuals. Although some viewers may never fully understand the scope of their struggle, it is a necessary look at at the hardships people endured for the sake of change.

Crip Camp documents the grueling fight for equality, through events like the Section 504 sit-in, that lasted many years. It is a documentary that will make you laugh, as well as cry, as you witness the remarkable acts of individuals who believed in their movement and refused to be denied.



CAST: Larry Allison, Dennis Billups, Judith Heumann, James Lebrecht, Evan White

DIRECTORS: Nicole Newnham, James LeBrecht

WRITERS: Nicole Newnham, James LeBrecht

SYNOPSIS: Down the road from Woodstock is Camp Jened, a camp for disabled teens. Crip Camp shows a group of campers turned activists who ignited a landmark movement.