Learning from a “Crip Camp” Cameraman

Upper School students in French teacher Lorin Pritikin’s Studies in Language and Cultures class recently shared an experience with Oscar-nominated documentarist Ben Levine.

Building on the success of a similar experience last year, Pritikin provided a space for her students to virtually meet with Levine, a clinical psychologist and videographer who used his art for social change in the 1970s and captured footage of a camp for disabled people in upstate New York known as Camp Jened.

Levine’s footage, which had been locked away in a vault for 50 years, was recently rediscovered by one of the former campers and a filmmaker interested in making a film on the history of the disability rights movement, in which many campers took part—and the film Crip Camp was born.

In these gatherings, Levine has been joined by his wife, Julia Schulz, co-founder of Speaking Place, which teaches video skills to community members themselves to revive and revitalize endangered languages for community self-documentation.

The full film is available on Netflix. Pritikin gives it a “thumbs up.”

More on Crip Camp is available at the links below:
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.