About “My Left Foot”

July 12, 2007

 By Seyit Ündar

In the film we have seen the real life story of  Christy Brown. The artists  were so succesful that I thought persons with CP are selected  to play Christy. His disease is defined quadriplegia with crippling cerebral palsy. He can only use his left foot, needs a wheelchair and ones help to move. His other problem is in communication at the beginnings, he speaks in guttural sounds.


For a long time he is believed to be mentally retarded. We understand this by the reaction of the father when he write “mother” with chalk on the ground. In many times, appearing different or unusual is being taboo. This generally affects our attitudes toward those people. Most of us even do not contact with them because of the thought “If I make a mistake, if I injure him…”  Here is what makes the film attractive. Contrary to bias, everyone around him is trying to support him. Excluding from football matches in primary school since I was smaller than my classmates still injures me. Hence, I was affected when I see his stopping the ball with his head and left foot penalty kick. Atmosphere at home and outside is rather positive for Christy.


 In that, of course, we cannot deny the role of Christy and his positive self esteem. He never isolates himself from society. He even lives all emotions more than anybody around him. He loves, feels responsibility about his family as we see in stealing coal for the home and his approach to his sister. He is in self confidence with himself and he has no disability in expressing his feelings.


It is very difficult for a family to have and accept such a child. Nowadays we hear about families who think abortion when they learned that they will have a child with disability.Morally it is not true but they are in too complex feelings. In the film CP is because of a mistake just after the birth. However mother’s hugging (bağrına basması:) is a great virtue.

    From this respect the film carries didactic elements. They are indeed like us, even better… It is an autobiography of Christy Brown; maturing into a brilliant painter, poet and author who uses his only functional limb to create his inspiring work.


About “Little Man Tate”

July 12, 2007

 By Seyit Ündar

I always used to think that people who are known gifted are wonderful with everything they have. Although I read about some difficulties from the life of gifted persons like Einstein I used to find them very normal. I had a chance to make an insight  about the problems of a gifted child.


As we watched the film, it makes us agreed on Fred is a child prodigy with given characteristics in the film. First signal from Fred was to read the “Koffer” under the plate, while he was about three. It was an effective illustration of Early Language Interest and Development.  His interest to books and newspapers was a striking element. His comments on events, those are not expected in his age, ability on both math and music; understanding college level physics were brilliant.


Beside gifted characteristics, there is something wrong in social and emotional world of Fred. In a social and psychological construct which is largely fails to accommodate his intelligence, he struggles to self-actualize (1). It is the main theme of the scenario supported with conflicts between different school environments and different approaches of mother and the specialist toward Fred. 


Indeed, the mother is aware of the intelligence his baby. She wants to bring him up as an ordinary “normal, happy child”, however she is in dilemma since she doesn’t know so much about what to do. On the other hand, there is a frigid humorless specialist who wants to exploit his intellect. She was so cold that she is contented with “drink water” when the child expected compassion after a nightmare. She takes care of Fred. Because he is also different from the children those are under her supervision. He is not saucy, he is not proud of giftedness. Instead, he considers it as a disease which isolates him from others. Although these, if you ask me “mother or specialist?” I could prefer mother, too.


A similar conflict is between the schools. First one is rather easy for him but the second one is contradictory with his childhood. What can be done? Inclusive education may be an answer. Without isolating those kinds of children methods can be developed to help them by educating the family at the same time. Because for a child, even if hi is gifted   It’s not what he knows. It’s what he feels and understands.”




About “Rain Man”

July 12, 2007

 By Seyit Ündar 

  It is an extraordinary experience for me to observe behaviors of an autistic person on the film that I watched as an only comedy film years ago. The film is successful because there is very effective reflection of an autistic person rather than defining what autism is. Though that, many documents that I searched on the net are agreed on Rain Man is clearer than any definition made for autism. We can see that from the referrals for the film.


  There are several behaviors of Raymond which we find unusual. First of all, he lacks in some social skills. In our hero we cannot see the use of nonverbal signal of social intent such us smiling, gestures, physical contact. Setting short sentences like “Yeah”, “I don’t know” and not having eye contact with people whom he talk to, are also examples of “extreme isolation”.


  We get much information about him from the language that he used. He never initiate a spontaneous conversation and it is too difficult to maintain any conversation with him. This may be explained by that functional language is not acquired or mastered. The sentences from a film “Who is the man in the corner…” is his favorite repetition.


  Insistence on sameness is another feature of Rain Man. The order of his room, the ways he used, his eating menu, the shop that he always buys boxer short, even the number of sausage pieces in his plate are interesting ones. He shows marked distress if one of them is changed.


  Since he is high functioning autistic person, we observe some impressive behaviors such as memorizing the phone book, calculating with the numbers with many digits. Manifesting extreme social fears towards unusual situations is to be common behaviors of such persons. We witnessed that when he was forced to get on plane.


  Towards the end of the film I have seen that there has been little motion in his emotions. But I can say that the motion is much more in his bother Charlie. Behind the travel from Ohio to Los Angeles, he also traveled in himself while trying to understand his elder brother. From this respect, the montage made a great impression on me. We saw an “autistic person” and a “normal person”. The first one seems to be abnormal because he perceive the world in a different way. But which one is patient?