Not Home: A documentary about kids living in nursing facilities

Listen to this post: 

If there’s one thing I love in a documentary film, it’s when the movie is made by someone from within the community shown or who deeply connects themselves to the people in the film and their experiences. Ok, and also when the film comes with a call to action. To me, it’s not enough to make a documentary where the filmmaker’s interests are the priority. We can use film for art and to instigate real social change. Crafting stories artistically through this medium can bring us together for dialogue, and that’s my biggest interest in documentary.

Here’s my call to action: everybody? Come on over and watch the first Portland screening of “Not Home,” directed by Narcel G. Reedus. It’s a 90-minute documentary that investigates the history and current trends of the long-term institutionalization of children with developmental disabilities living in U.S. nursing facilities as seen through the lives of four families. But before you do that, come to Narcel’s digital storytelling workshop earlier in the day on May 17th. Get introduced to some of the fundamentals and learn how to access the technology to make your story come alive onscreen. These two events are proudly offered as part of the Disability Art and Culture Project’s Disability Pride Art and Culture Festival 6!

Digital Storytelling Workshop — Free

Saturday, May 17
Zoomtopia Studio 2
810 SE Belmont Ave.

• How to operate a camera
• Basic composition and framing techniques
• Rule of thirds
• 3-point lighting
• Recording good quality sound
• Story structure
• Developing characters
• Scriptwriting
• Writing dialogue

“Not Home” film screening and discussion with
Narcel G. Reedus — Free

Saturday, May 17th
7:00-9:30 pm
Center for Intercultural Organizing
700 N Killingsworth St.

Get yourself familiar with Narcel and some ideas behind this movie in this POOR Magazine interview with Leroy Moore: In this interview, he said, “I think that the disability community has an opportunity to bring folks together across racial and social economic lines.” This movie can do that.

Although we have moved past the Willowbrook days, it’s important to recognize that this is institutionalization of young people, something our society said it no longer would tolerate years ago. The young people are sometimes in pediatric facilities and sometimes in adult facilities where they don’t have peers to interact with or activities that suit their interests or educational needs. But that’s hardly the tip of the tip of the iceberg. For example, here is one article from Aljazeera America, March 19, 2014 highlighting many of the serious issues with the lack of information for parents, lack of options, and examples of poor and abusive treatment. Despite that it is cheaper for the government to fund in-home and community-based care, too many families are bound by Medicaid restrictions to put their children in nursing facilities–or they aren’t told they have a choice.

Please join us for these events and get our local dialogue going and engaged with the discussions across the country.

All festival events can be found at