Code of the Freaks

United States 2020
In English, Finnish subtitles for the heard of hearing
69 min
Suitable for audiences aged 12 and above
Director: Salome Chasnoff
Screenplay: Susan Nussbaum, Alyson Patsavas, Carrie Sandahl / Kino Lober
Cast: Candace Coleman, Lawrence Carter-Long, Mike Ervin, Mat Fraser, Timotheus “T.J.” Gordon, Jr., Tsehaye Geralyn Hébert, Tommy Heffron, Riva Lehrer, Tekki Lomnicki, Susan Nussbaum, Alyson Patsavas, Carrie Sandahl, Crom Saunders
Production: Salome Chasnoff, Susan Nussbaum, Alyson Patsavas, Jerzy Rose, Carrie Sandahl / Kino Lober
Print Source: Reservoir Docs

Code of the Freaks presents a radical reframing of the use of disabled characters in film. Using hundreds of clips spanning over 100 years of moviemaking, and a cast of disabled artists, scholars and activists, it’s a scorching critique of some of Hollywood’s most beloved characters. This revelatory documentary investigates the power of movie imagery to shape the beliefs and behaviors of the general public toward disabled people, and of disabled people toward themselves. Drawing its title from a line from Tod Browning’s notorious 1932 film, Freaks, Code of the Freaks debunks well-worn tropes – the miracle cure, the blind guy driving a car, the magical little people, the face-feelers, the sexless, the better off dead – and brings an entirely fresh perspective. It dares to imagine a cinematic landscape that centers the voices of disabled people.

Production Notes

After the screening on Thursday 24 August, there will be a recorded Q&A with the director Salome Chasnoff.

The films can be screened online via Festhome TV during Mon 21 Aug – Sun 27 Aug.