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> > > Preview: The Beaten by film-maker Simon Mckeown

13 June 2011

The legendary UK disabled actor and comic Liz Carr stars in a hard-hitting drama ‘The Beaten’ – a study of the potential despair and abuse faced by disabled people both now and in the future. Set in a single room, Liz Carr’s performance is a tour de force of emotion, vulnerability and empowerment. 
 
Written and directed by artist and film-maker Simon Mckeown, The Beaten questions society’s attitude to care and domination. Liz Carr says that: "The Beaten is a spectacularly dark glimpse into what may be the future for many disabled people. It is an important film by a director who is clearly not afraid to take his audiences to the depths of possibility."
 
Care, venerability and dominance are brought into question. Set in the future the film shows a disabled inmate in a cell - we do not know why she is there. Is she a victim or indeed a killer? She is force fed and abused and looks for a way out considering suicide as an option; a currently much discussed ‘human rights’ issue and portrayed as a 'dignified' way out in the press. Key social questions such as these are addressed in this surprising film - and ultimately does Liz, the inmate, decide to take a way out?

The Beaten continues the director’s ongoing exploration of the cultural presentation of disability by placing a disabled and perceptibly frail woman large and centre screen. In the film Liz takes charge of the stage and her responses to containment deliberately challenge the media stereotype of the disabled person/ victim worthy only of pity.  Her actions are shocking and exciting and the concluding shots of the film leave us enthralled - but with ability to questions her morality and motivation along with the original but unknown reason for being jailed.

Filmed over three days at Teesside University Sound Stage, the work was supported by the UK Film Council and 104 Films, along with the Institute for Digital Innovation and Teesside University.

To see a trailer for the film please visit http://www.thebeatenfilm.com/

 

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