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Re: [disabilitystudies] FWD: Disabled groups condemn Eastwood euthanasia film

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  • l murray
    Ah, they re just trying to stir us up to get us to go and see another dull BS American movie. Many of us have apparently discovered floor scrubbing and even
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 26, 2005
      Ah, they're just trying to stir us up to get us to go and see another dull BS American movie.  Many of us have apparently discovered floor scrubbing and even toilet brushing as a pleasant alternative to the US entertainment industry thrust upon us like buckets of filth.  No, this won't work, either.  Not going.  Not, not, not.

      Keith Armstrong <keitharm@...> wrote:

      Clint Eastwood, the Hollywood screen legend, is under fire from
      disabled groups who say that his latest award-winning film is thinly
      disguised propaganda for euthanasia.

      Eastwood is the director of Million Dollar Baby, a drama about a
      female boxer described as "Rocky in a sports bra," in which he also
      stars alongside Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman.

      The film went on general release in the United States earlier this
      month and critics identified it as a leading contender for an Academy
      Award after Swank and Eastwood won Golden Globes for Best Actress and
      Best Director.

      Ostensibly, the film is about a young boxer who turns to an elderly
      trainer to take her to the top. Yet audiences have been astonished by
      an unheralded plot twist in which a leading character becomes
      crippled in a serious accident and begs to be put to death.

      The film's detractors accuse Warner Brothers, the studio that made
      it, of deliberately concealing the grim ending. A number of religious
      right-to-life groups are also upset because Eastwood's character is a
      devout Roman Catholic who attends mass every day.

      Debbie Schlussel, a conservative television and radio commentator,
      described the film as a "million dollar lie" and a "cover story to
      suck moviegoers in for a nefarious message." She said that the film
      supported "killing the handicapped, literally putting their lights

      The National Spinal Cord Injury Association, one of America's most
      respected organisations for disabled people, accused Eastwood of
      a "disability vendetta," describing the last scene of the film as
      a "brilliantly executed attack on life after a spinal cord injury."

      Eastwood clashed previously with the charity when he spent $600,000
      (�319,500) fighting a legal order to make his Mission Ranch Hotel
      in Carmel, California, accessible to handicapped people.

      Marcia Roth, the association's chief executive, said the star was
      using the "power of fame and film to perpetuate his view that the
      lives of people with disabilities are not worth living."

      Last week, film critics attending their annual awards ceremony in
      Chicago were confronted by protesters from Not Dead Yet, an
      organisation that fights assisted suicide laws. The group was angry
      about the glowing reviews Million Dollar Baby had received, saying
      that critics were ignoring the film's underlying message which, it
      said, "promotes the killing of disabled people as the solution to the
      `problem' of disability."

      Steven Drake, a researcher for Not Dead Yet, said that the
      film "plays out killing as a romantic fantasy and gives emotional
      life to the `better dead than disabled' mindset." The film's release
      comes as the right-to-die debate is hotting up in the US. A new law
      being considered in California � Eastwood's home state �
      would allow doctor-assisted suicide.

      President Bush has made clear his opposition to euthanasia. Last
      year, his brother, Jeb, the governor of Florida, intervened in the
      case of Terry Schiavo, a brain-damaged woman whose parents are
      fighting her husband's wish to take her off life support.

      Marketing for the film in the US has concentrated exclusively on its
      boxing theme and Eastwood's initial reluctance to take on Swank's
      character, telling her "tough ain't enough". Few reviews even hint
      that the film's climax is an assisted suicide.

      Another conservative commentator and film critic, Michael Medved,
      said: "Warner Brothers never tells you the truth about a key plot
      twist that turns this pedestrian boxing movie into an insufferable
      manipulative right-to-die movie."

      While promoting the film, Eastwood has avoided talking about the
      issue of euthanasia. In his only comment so far, he told an
      interviewer: "How people feel about that is up to them. I'm not a pro-
      euthanasia person and this is a story about a giant dilemma and how
      one person had to face that."

      By James Langton in New York
      (Filed: 23/01/2005)

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