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 [...] continue the story

Blind Faith

 Blind Faith reconsiders the notion of “disability”, explores the creative space between lightness and darkness, and envisions art as a collaboration and act of faith.

One Woman’s Journey – PXE

When I had my first bleed in February 2004 I thought for SURE that I would be legally blind by February 2006, maybe sooner. I was CERTAIN of it. At the time the only treatments available were thermal (aka hot) laser and PDT (aka cold laser). Since my bleeds were well outside central vision I couldn’t do PDT. We chased those first few bleeds quite a distance until they were only two or three tiny squares away from the central dot on the Amsler Grid. I felt doomed.

Then I “got a grip”! After four hot lasers my doc and I had a “discussion” (let’s just say I wasn’t very nice!) about how I wanted to know MORE about my treatments and how I felt like he wasn’t telling me the truth because he wasn’t sharing DETAILS. I wanted to discuss with him whether we needed to be aggressive or conservative … heck, I had him blow the Fluorescein Angiogram (dye test) photos of my retina up to a huge size so that he could show me EXACTLY where the bleed was and EXACTLY where he was going to aim that laser beam. He and I now have a wonderful relationship. [...] continue the story

Talk

An attempt of mutual understanding between a blind girl and a deaf guy. A guy meets a girl at the subway station. She was in trouble, so he helped her. At that moment, the girl feels that there is something oddly familiar about him….

Beyond the Light

Guitarist and music teacher Kyaw Kyaw has been blind since birth. In “Beyond the Light”, he talks candidly about his life and his perceptions of the world around him. Blind since birth, he talks of his despair at life, and how taking up the guitar brought him salvation.