White Cane and Wheels

Paul Apelgren wanted to make a film about his Aunt Carmen and Uncle Steve. Carmen wanted the film to be called Soul Mates. Steve wanted the film to be called Gimp Love. The film shows they’re not your normal relatives, they’re outspoken, genuine, and hilarious. They also face tremendous hurdles on a daily basis. The simplest of tasks are extremely difficult. Carmen has Retinitis Pigmentosa. She is ninety-five percent blind and what little sight she has left is going fast. Steve has Muscular Dystrophy. Two years ago he could still sit up; now he can barely wind his watch. His illness is terminal. Carmen says, “Hopefully people won’t feel sorry for us and all that crap because it’s so annoying.” They see their life as a movie, a love story. Carmen and Steve met in a disabled acting class after a run of failed marriages and relationships. The film is an intimate look at the power of love and how it sustains two people who by all measures seem like they cannot make it. As the story progresses it becomes clear that things are “not all peaches and roses.” Especially when the biggest obstacle is the floor. Tensions run high. Carmen is the primary caregiver and Steve keeps to the apartment. He hasn’t been out in five months. “I don’t want to be in the a three ring circus in the main ring,” says Steve. White Cane and Wheels is an exploration of a relationship riddled with frustrations, held together with patience, stubbornness, forgiveness, and most importantly love.