Documentaries about people with disabilities are fairly common, everybody loves a story of overcoming the odds and triumphing over adversity. The problem is, so many of these films overstate things and set up the subject as not just worthy of respect but as heroic figures. Now certainly in some cases that is true, but more often while adding to the film’s feel good factor it gives a very distorted view of life for those living with handicaps. Directors Abigail Fuller and Sarah Ivy try to avoid this pitfall with Do You Dream in Color, presenting the stories of four blind teens trying to achieve goals despite the extra problems their lack of eyesight pose.
Connor is an avid skateboarder who wants to get a sponsorship and ride on a team. Nick wants to become a rock star, or at least make a living from playing music. Sarah wants to travel and Corina hopes to be the first in her family to graduate from high school. A fairly wide variety of rather common aspirations for kids their age, all made harder by an equally diverse variety of problems their blindness creates.
In Connor’s case it’s physical issues such as knowing the layout of the ramp and where he is on it during his runs. Corina on the other hand suffers due to the school repeatedly falling short on it’s obligations to her and other disabled students under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Educational Act). These struggles are mixed in with details and reminisces from he past as both the kids and their parents help us understand who they are and how they became the people they are. Again this is done without being over dramatic or sensational.
By not blowing matters out of proportion Do You Dream In Color stays genuine and becomes more involving, the viewer can relate to the normal elements of what they see and appreciate the challenges more. And that in turn makes it more involving and effective. You really want these kids to make their dreams come true, and by not portraying them as anything more than they are it makes the outcome less certain and their struggle more engrossing.
Do You Dream In Color is a feel good movie, but it’s a realistic one which makes it stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons. Fuller and Ivy are to be commended for doing such a good job on what was obviously a meager budget.
Do You Dream In Color is available on VOD and select theatrical dates from Uncork’d Entertainment.