10 11, 2014

FIXED’s Seattle Premiere at the Varsity Theater

By |Monday, November 10, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

CSNE screens movie on human enhancement

October 9, 2014 at 9:08 PM | Eleanor Cummins

A line trailed down the Ave as students and community members waited to enter the Varsity Theatre for a screening of “Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement” Thursday night.
The film, presented by the UW’s Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE), is about technologies with the potential to make us “better than human,” such as prosthetic feet tailored for mountain climbing.
“It’s very complicated to think about how we should enhance ourselves,” said Sara Goering, an associate professor of philosophy and a neuroethicist with CSNE. “Because we likely will.”

 Goernig described the ethics surrounding the development of an exoskeleton for individuals with disabilities. The first device of its kind was approved by the Food and Drug Administration earlier this year.
While some hailed it as a great achievement in medicine with the potential to improve the quality of life for many, Goernig’s work is focused on the potential ethical issues this device and others create. When it comes to life-altering technology like this, the question of who will be able to access these devices is tantamount. 
“Most people don’t have the basic wheelchair they need to get around,” she said. 
These issues are central to the work of CSNE, an organization whose research is focused on so-called enhancement technologies, like cochlear implants or the reanimation of limbs.
In addition to their work in the lab in developing these technologies, members of the CSNE collaborate with representatives of the UW disability community in order to understand the applications and implications of their work. 
For Joanne Woiak, a lecturer with the UW Disability Studies Program, the film’s greatest asset is the way it portrays the varying opinions of individuals in […]

10 11, 2014

FIXED screens at UCSF for Bay Area ReelAbilities

By |Monday, November 10, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Film Exposes Audience to Human Enhancement Concepts

By Courtney Anderson on October 23, 2014 | Email | Print

Student Disability Services Director Lisa Meeks introduces the panelists at the FIXED film screening.

A crowd of students, nurses, doctors, and medical providers packed the film screening and panel discussion of “FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement.” The event, sponsored by the UCSF Committee on Disability Issues as part of 2014 Diversity Month events, took a close look at the drive to be “better than human.”

Bruce Flynn, committee chair and director of the UCSF Risk Management and Insurance Services, welcomed participants and introduced the film, which proposed radical technological innovations and presented a myriad of perspectives ranging from prenatal screening to ability augmenting. This set the stage for a lively panel discussion.

Panelists included Ingrid Tischer, development director of Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund,Ernesto Diaz-Flores, PhD, assistant adjunct professor in the UCSF Department of Pediatrics, and Matthew Garibaldi, assistant clinical professor in the UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and director of the Orthotic and Prosthetic Centers.

Moderating the discussion, Lisa Meeks, PhD, director of UCSF Student Disability Services, took questions from the group of mostly physical therapy students who were eager to hear from the panelists regarding priorities for device innovation, issues of affordability and access, as well as insights into patient expectation setting.

The film asks the audience to consider ableism as a concept and our obsession with certain abilities, as well as associated negative treatment to those who do not have those abilities. Panelist Ingrid Tischer, who has almost fifty years of experience in neuromuscular clinics, offered critical advice to both avoid the “cure” mentality and assuage the disability stigma. Thanking the group, she asserted that her most positive experiences […]

2 04, 2014

To That Which Cannot Be Fixed

By |Wednesday, April 2, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Since I decided to call this film “FIXED,” this word has stuck out every time I encounter it in print or it pops up in conversation. What does it mean “to be fixed?” When do we want “to fix” and why? This photo was taken by a great photographer friend, Lisa Ganser. The photo is a close up of a red curb with white cursive script which says “To that which cannot be fixed”. There is also the front of Lisa’s foot in a black sneaker. The concrete is slick with rain and there’s water pooling in the street next to the curb. Ever since she showed me the image, this phrase has haunted me. It speaks to the heart of our film, FIXED. It seems to speak back to a culture obsessed with perfection and perfecting, and holds up our human “imperfections” as something to celebrate, to raise a glass to, in fact. If you encounter the word FIXED anywhere that seems interesting to snap a photo of, please send it to us and we’ll start an album here of FIXED photos in the world: info @ fixedthemovie dot com.

In the meantime, let’s raise a glass “to that which cannot be fixed!”
(To learn more about the name of the film, check out this post.)

2 04, 2014

What’s in a Name?

By |Wednesday, April 2, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Recently I was asked by a festival director why I named the film, Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement? I thought more people might find this of interest, so here you have it:

I named the film Fixed to raise attention to how and when we use this term, most often without giving it a second thought. It so often goes as if certain things are a given, common sense,  i.e. “surely if you don’t have legs, you would want them… you would want to be fixed!” But, of course, it’s much more complicated than that. Many people with disabilities want a lot of things but to be “fixed” isn’t one of them. Access to a good quality of life, yes, access to education, good health care, employment, housing, in-home support services, better representations in the media and popular culture, erasing the stigma associated with “disability” in society, etc… So I was trying to highlight this tension by naming it as I did.

I also like how the word “fixed” relates to the eugenics, sterilization and prenatal screening parts of the film. You say when you sterilize an animal that they’ve been “fixed.” Of course, this is what happened in the eugenics era in the U.S. and abroad with many people with disabilities who were, in effect, treated like animals. So there’s a haunting nod in that direction too contained within the name.

Lastly, it raises the question on whether this business of high tech enhancements is “fixed” i.e. rigged, when we consider how many people will have access to these technologies. Will it alleviate or exacerbate existing inequalities for people with disabilities and for poor people in general? (and of course, people with disabilities tend to be […]

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22Ocv-O6sVs&feature=share&list=PLC84EEB1FBAFC62E5
26 11, 2013

“Talking Biopolitics” interview, Center for Genetics and Society.

By |Tuesday, November 26, 2013|Videos|0 Comments

On Oct 3rd, 2013, FIXED director, Regan Brashear, was interviewed for a Center for Genetics and Society Talking Biopolitics webinar by Gina Maranto, science writer and Director of the Ecosystem Science and Policy and coordinator of the Environmental Science and Policy program at the University of Miami’s Leonard and Jayne Abess Center. Watch the whole interview online here.

It is well worth checking out the whole series of interviews with cutting-edge thinkers which CGS has archived on their website.

5 09, 2013

FIXED, coming soon to a town near you!

By |Thursday, September 5, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Dear Kickstarter supporters and everyone else who has helped us along the way,

There is lots of great news to share, but first of all, the biggie: FIXED IS DONE!  Thanks to your moral and financial support and the critical time provided to me through my Arizona State University filmmaking residency this spring, we, all together, were able to birth this film into being. Seven years in the making! In infinite large and small ways, you have all helped make this film a reality.

Amid the cactus and red rocks of the Arizona desert, I completed the editing in April while at ASU.  Then the FIXED team set to work over these last few months on the final details: color correction, sound mix, final graphics, captioning, etc. Currently, we are currently working on the final changes to the captions, the video description and special features for the DVD. Next will come the companion DVD and study guide.

If you live in the Bay area, please save the date of December 5th, 2013 for our official Bay Area Community Premiere at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley, CA, co-sponsored by the Disability Rights Education Defense Fund. The evening will open with a performance by the world renown AXIS Dance Company!  Meet many of the stars of the film for a post-film discussion! We will send out a separate email soon with more details, but for now, please mark your calendars!

FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement begins its festival journey TONIGHT at what PBS/POV has named one of the top 12 small town festivals of 2012, in St. George, UT: DOCUTAH. One of fifteen […]

3 09, 2013

FIXED screens at one of the “top small town festivals” this week: DOCUTAH!

By |Tuesday, September 3, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement will begin its festival journey this week at what PBS/POV has named one of the top 12 small town festivals of 2012, DocUtah, in St. George, UT.  A haunting, subtle, urgent documentary, FIXED questions commonly held beliefs about disability and normalcy by exploring technologies that promise to change our bodies and mind forever.  Sixty-two films will be shown at eleven venues throughout Southern Utah during the festival.  One of fifteen feature films in competition, FIXED will have three screenings: September 4th at 8:30pm – Concert Hall; September 5th at 8:10 pm – Sears Gallery; and Sept 6th at 7:20 pm – Green Valley Spa. Tickets are only $5. Students (with ID) are free!  For a full list of films and show times, visit www.DOCUTAH.com.

Learn more about the film and watch the FIXED trailer.

14 03, 2013

From Oakland to Tempe to Lisbon!

By |Thursday, March 14, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Dear friends of Fixed,

Much exciting news to share from these recent months!

Artist residency at ASU
Pre-release screening in Lisbon
Work-in-progress screenings
2013/2014 college screening tour, booking now!
Film update

The editing is going great. To make sure we’re still on the right track, we have held two more work-in-progress screenings in the last month.  The first screening was with the staff of the Disability Rights Education Defense Fund (DREDF),  a leading national civil rights law and policy center and one of the oldest disability rights organizations in the country, founded in 1979; in other words, a group I deeply respect and whose opinions of the film I value highly.  The screening received a warm and enthusiastic response.  I asked a few of their senior staff to write their thoughts about the film afterwards:
“‘Fixed’ combines some of the most challenging questions facing the disability rights movement with the cutting-edge science of human enhancement. The result is eye-opening and raises provocative questions our civilization struggles to answer. Yet ‘Fixed’ doesn’t fail to fascinate, and communicates on so many levels. Everyone should see this film!”
— Marilyn Golden, Senior Policy Analyst, DREDF
“‘Fixed’ presents an incisive, balanced, and mind-bending look at the opportunities and challenges the technology revolution has wrought for the future of human culture and the meaning of being human… Beautifully edited with multiple dance sequences that transcend preconceived notions of disability and normalcy, ‘Fixed’ poses the question, ‘What sort of world do we want to live in?'”  — Mary Lou Breslin, Senior Policy Advisor, DREDF
The second screening was with an undergraduate ‘Cyborg Anthropology’ class at UC Santa Cruz and was also well-received. You can read a few comments from their feedback forms below.

Other big news! I’ve been invited to be a […]

25 12, 2012

Fixed passes senior class with flying colors!

By |Tuesday, December 25, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments

“‘Fixed’ is entirely useful for my senior Medical Ethics course.  There are countless ways that my students can connect with the material presented in the film, from the issues that the disability rights movement raises about societal change and adaptive technology, to ableism and Eugenics.  The film is accessible, balanced, and while my students already have a background in the subject matter, there is also something entirely new here to help them stretch their thinking.  It is perfect for the classroom but also for anyone wanting to expand their knowledge on the subject or simply someone who wants to achieve a better understanding of the world we all live in.” – Stacey Wickware, U.S. History and Medical Ethics teacher, Dozier-Libbey Medical High School

On two rainy days this past November, I had the opportunity to venture out to Antioch, CA, to share the rough cut of Fixed with the senior class of  Dozier-Libbey Medical High School who were in the midst of a month-long unit on ableism in their medical ethics classes. Their response to the film was deeply gratifying.

As many of you know, this has been a six year long, epic journey to create this film. This was the first time I’ve shown it to an audience of young people. To hear in our discussions after each screening how it impacted these teens, shifting their perspectives on disability and inspiring them to rethink concepts of normal, abled, and disabled – and to know that this film will become a tool for many teachers around the country to do the same with their students – gave me goosebumps! Please check out some of their comments below. And since my sweetheart is a statistician, I couldn’t […]

20 11, 2012

Highlights from 2012

By |Tuesday, November 20, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments

“Provocative … moving … important …”
“I cannot wait to show the film to my college students!” – Tarrytown conference attendees after watching a rough cut of Fixed
“Fascinating, humane, and provocative reframing of conceptions of “normal” bodies and “disability.” – Gina Maranto, Director of Ecosystem and Science Policy, University of Miami
Thanks to your support and encouragement we are very close to having a final edit of Fixed! We would not have gotten this far without you. Thank you for believing in this project.

As a first-time director of a project this size, I have been learning lots of lessons and, frankly, making lots of mistakes along the way.  The biggest lesson learned so far is that you can’t always predict the twists and turns a film will take or how long it will take to complete!  I want to apologize for my earlier overly optimistic predictions that we would have the film “in the can” and in your hands much earlier than this.

One of the most exciting results of the Kickstarter campaign has been getting to know a number of new people around the country doing related research in the fields of disability and/or technology. We met with and interviewed many of these individuals, such as Hugh Herr at the MIT Media Lab and Silvia Yee with DREDF, over the last year and, as a result, have effectively doubled the film both in scope and length. We were originally thinking we had a thirty minute film and now are looking at a TV hour (although the exact length may change in the final stages of editing!).

We are determined to finish the editing this winter. Once we hit picture lock, there will be a few more steps which may take another […]