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45 people found this helpful
Willowbrook is a moving documentary
on October 5, 2008
Willowbrook is a moving documentary about the lives of adults who are mentally disabled. I have never heard of the Staten Island, New York school before watching this documentary. I am shocked that thousands of people lived in such deplorable conditions for decades. Reporter Geraldo Rivera first exposed Willowbrook as an overcrowded and understaffed facility in 1972. The school closed in 1987, and some of the former residents have gone on to live productive lives. The message of this documentary is that people with mental disabilities should be given the change to reach their potential, no matter what that is. I am touched by the story of Benard Carabello. He was diagnosed with mental retardation when he actually has cerebral palsy. He now leads a full active life as a disability advocate. I am also touched by the story of the late Luis Rivera. This young man did not have the ability to communicate verbally, but he communicated such warmth and love through his smile and facial gestures. This documentary definitely increases my compassion for people with disabilities.