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Intelligent Lives
Intelligent Lives
Documentary Feature
75 minutes
2018
Director(s): Dan Habib
USA
Thu 6:00 PM Armory
Synopsis

World Premiere

Intelligent Lives serves as a catalyst to transform the label of “intellectual disability” from a life sentence of isolation to a life of possibility for a systematically segregated American population. Meet three pioneering young American adults with intellectual disabilities, Micah, Naieer, and Naomie, who challenge perceptions as they navigate high school, college, and the work- force. Academy Award-winning actor and narrator Chris Cooper contextualizes the lives of these students and shares a personal perspective through the emotional story of his son Jesse. The film confronts the shameful, ongoing track record of intelligence testing in the U.S. that commits students to a narrow and prejudiced interpretation of talent, ability, and intelligence. This film will be shown with captions turned on. 
 

Opening Night Film 
With Rogue Award honoree Chris Cooper, Marianne Leone Cooper, and Director Dan Habib in attendance 

Director’s Statement

When my son Samuel was in elementary school, his teacher suggested that we add “intellectual disability” to his label of “health impaired” in order to access more services. My wife Betsy and I felt queasy. The label seemed to suggest that Samuel’s intellect was so disabled that he couldn’t possibly be in class alongside his peers. Only 17% of students with intellectual disabilities are included in regular education. Just 40% will graduate. Barely 15% are employed. “Intellectual disability” still carries the same negative implications we experienced. Segregation. Isolation. Incompetence. Intelligent Lives challenges what it means to be intelligent. 
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