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Eastwood Continues Disability Vendetta with 'Million Dollar Baby'

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    #16
    Originally posted by fuentejps:

    nothingwrong w/ that. he helped die, i hope if the time ever comes and i cant do it myself, someone i luv helps me go.

    Don't worry fjps, I get the impression you wont have any trouble finding someone to help.

    Comment


      #17
      Mercy me

      Mercy me


      By Scott Galupo
      THE WASHINGTON TIMES


      "For the last seven years, I have not been able to eat, wash, go to the bathroom or get dressed by myself," said Christopher Reeve in dramatic testimony before the Senate in 2002. "Some people are able to accept living with a severe disability. I am not one of them..."
      Stop after that ellipsis, and you might read a validation of the pro-euthanasia ethos embodied - perhaps even espoused - in two critically acclaimed films both nominated for Academy Awards on Tuesday.

      http://washingtontimes.com/entertain...5159-3121r.htm



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        #18
        “Piss on Pity�

        "Piss on Pity"
        Clint Eastwood's "Million Dollar" Snuff Film
        by Mickey Z.
        www.dissidentvoice.org
        January 24, 2005






        Fresh off some big Golden Globes wins, "Million Dollar Baby" seems poised for Oscar success...but not everyone is pleased with the boxing flick-cum-snuff film. If you haven't already seen the movie, be warned: The surprise ending is revealed in the next paragraph.

        Hilary Swank goes from trailer trash to number one contender in the first two-thirds of the film. Her relationship with her trainer (Eastwood) and her drive to succeed makes this part of the film enjoyable for anyone who happens to like boxing parables (as I do). Then it all changes. Swank gets her title shot and ends up paralyzed. After a long, horribly drawn-out series of hospital scenes, she convinces Clint (star, director, producer, and he even wrote the damn score) to disconnect her breathing tube. Clint, of course, obliges.

        "This movie is a corny, melodramatic assault on people with disabilities," writes Steve Drake in The Ragged Edge. "It plays out killing as a romantic fantasy and gives emotional life to the 'better dead than disabled' mindset lurking in the heart of the typical (read: non-disabled) audience member."

        It will likely come as a bit of shock to those unfamiliar with the disability rights movement, but not every disabled person would rather be dead (or even non-disabled). Dead people, you see, can't fight the power and raise hell. Thanks to activists from Lizzie Jennings to Rosa Parks, African-Americans can not only get on the bus, they can sit anywhere they damn please. "Folks with disabilities," says Lucy Gwin, founder and editor of Mouth Magazine, "still can't get on the bus."

        And here's a newsflash to those who think Christopher Reeve represented the disability rights movement: The crips weren't impressed with Superman's search for a cure -- in fact, they're not pacified by Jerry Lewis' telethons or legislature that honored more in the breech, and they want freedom for the two million Americans imprisoned in nursing homes against their will. Now. Those are among the many reasons Gwin started Mouth and, as she puts it, "lowered the level of discourse on the subject of the helping system." As the crip mantra goes: "Nothing about us, without us."


        http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Jan05/MickeyZ0124.htm



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          #19
          Someone sent me some blog entries on this, that are pretty good.

          (NDY is NOT DEAD YET)

          Now that the issue of spoilers has been done to death, I think I'll throw in a few comments about what a crap movie Million Dollar Baby is.

          Basically, it's the "Wallace Beery wrestling picture" that Barton Fink never got around to writing. Part of the reason for Eastwood's ridiculous and vile depiction of quadraplegia is that he's making a 1930s movie. He gets love from the critics for throwing in two "twists": the boxer's a woman, and Eastwood dares to be dark and kills her in the end.

          Let me point out a couple major points that Eastwood invents for this movie. First, it's been settled that people on ventilators have the right to demand the machine be switched off; we all have the right to refuse medical care. Second, bedsores are not exactly unknown to modern nursing. I imagine there are places where someone might end up losing a limb due to neglected bedsores within a few months of becoming paralyzed, but I'd say that doesn't speak well of Frankie's paternal care.

          Obviously enough Eastwood has artistic license to tell his own story, but there is a point to the changes he makes to reality, just as there is a point to the story he's telling: disabled lives are not worth living.

          Of course, you can tell me that that's not the point of the story - the important thing is the (creepy) fatherly relationship between Frankie and Maggie. That's what really pisses me off. Endorsing the death of disabled people isn't a point to be made for this movie - it's a cliche to be exploited, something that the movie simply takes for granted as true.

          FYI, I was actually at that little Chicago protest. It was a fun little event - very meta. Protesting film critics for praising a movie. It is a silly idea, but, of course, it worked; it got attention. Nothing the media like like a media story.

          Posted by Brian Zimmerman · January 25, 2005 03:43 AM
          we see eastwood creating a character that begs to be killed once she becomes a quadriplegic. i am asking the question about why eastwood made a film where a quadriplegic is killed, about a man that kills a disabled woman. the entire film eastwood constructs is brimming over with the belittling of women: "i don't train girls" (note, he calls women "girls", that maggie is the titular "baby", i suppose both because she is a she and because she becomes a quad); "you punch like a girl"; the issue of frankie's "daughter" - are we to believe that she is a fiction of the fiction? is it merely a plot device so that we see frankie recieving letters "from his daughter," through himself, of course, but in light of the daughter role that maggie takes on, that say "return to sender" - obviously telegraphing that maggie should be "returned to sender" thus frankie's arrival at the killing, out of the light, into the foregrounded darkness into maggie's room, and back into the light. here we see disability played to emphasize the devalued female.

          the film's other disabled character, danger barch, why "danger"? clearly it is meant to be ironic, he is only dangerous in the sense of a cautionary about "letting disabled folks live"; i could go into the "savings" that eastwood's frankie espouses every 15minutes, to emphasize the construction of "social dead weight", but you get it. danger is played for laughs, and a bit of sympathy. laughs because he is disabled, his sympathy through his maleness. so not only are disabled characters used by eastwood for their associations with "weakness" and "unworthy life" but also to refiy male privilege.

          i don't disagree with realish that this is a story, well acted and directed, but choices were made about which story to tell. had eastwood made a film valorizing a different "white trash" character, perhaps a member of the kkk, with certain moral conflicts, but killing a black person in the ring, i imagine the film would easily be read as racist - though it would still be "about indivdiuals, individual relationships, and individual choices."

          still, i can hardly believe that the film would have us believe that yeats wrote in gaelic.

          Posted by jonk · January 27, 2005 05:01 PM
          Crooked Timber/blog

          Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.-- Søren Kierkegaard
          "Who are all these strange ghosts rooted to the silly little adventure of earth with me?"--Jack Kerouac

          Comment


            #20
            Film Critics at Center of Controversy Over Eastwood Film

            Film Critics at Center of Controversy Over Eastwood Film
            credit: Aya Kawano




            By Brian Orloff

            Published: January 31, 2005 4:00 PM ET

            NEW YORK Clint Eastwood's drama "Million Dollar Baby" may be racking up the critical praise and plaudits -- including seven Academy Award nominations -- but it's what critics aren't saying that has become the real story, according to some. Critics' silence over the film's final emotional/ethical twist, is sparking ethical debate among activists and film critics alike. A group called Not Dead Yet has sponsored protests and picketing.

            "Any movie that sends a message that having a spinal cord injury is a fate worse than death is a movie that concerns us tremendously," said Marcie Roth, executive director of the American National Spinal Cord Injury Association.

            Thanks to the publicity, by now most readers should know that the film eventually raises serious issues surrounding assisted suicide or "mercy killing." Moviegoers, of course, like most Americans, split on how they feel about it. Was it wrong, in this case, for film critics to refuse to give away the ending? Are they taking too much of a pro-euthanasia stance? Can they even seriously review this movie if they don't discuss its key component?

            "I get angry when I feel that I'm getting told too much," Michael Miner, editor of the Chicago Reader, who wrote a column about this centering on local critic Roger Ebert, told E&P. "But in a case like this it's quite a bit different from the surprise in 'The Crying Game' or the surprise in 'The Sixth Sense.' You find yourself not able to talk about the philosophical core of the movie. This is not just a twist at the end. This is everything about the movie that makes people walk out thinking they've seen something wonderful."

            "Million Dollar Baby" tells the story of a struggling boxer, Maggie (Hilary Swank), who convinces hardened trainer Frankie (Clint Eastwood) to coach her. He reluctantly agrees, and she becomes a success and a surrogate daughter. But after a brutal punch leaves her paralyzed, the film's final one-third takes place in a hospital where Maggie confronts her future and Frankie decides she wants to die.

            Miner wrote about Not Dead Yet, which has protested critics' lack of disclosure, and the film's ending, commenting, "Thanks to the star power of Swank and Eastwood, the film was an endorsement of Maggie's death."

            He told E &P: "I think that's a flaw of the movie that stars ... tend to sweep argument away. What they do seems to be the right thing to do because they're doing it. But this can be said about a lot of movies."

            Ebert fired back, filing a column this past Saturday with the headline "Critics have no right to play spoiler." He wrote: "The characters in movies do not always do what we would do. Sometimes they make choices that offend us. That is their right. It is our right to disagree with them. It is not our right, however, to destroy for others the experience of being as surprised by those choices as we were."


            http://www.mediainfo.com/eandp/news/..._id=1000780626



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            Comment


              #21
              I haven't seen the movie, so I'm not in a position to make a comment on the believability of this actress, Hillary Swank, who appeared on "60 Minutes" last night.

              PN
              The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom
              --General George Patton

              Complex problems need to be solved collectively.
              ––Paul Nussbaum
              usc87.blogspot.com

              Comment


                #22
                I think a movie like this makes a case for more CURE research.

                If Clint dislikes "disability" that much maybe he should donate money towards the ultimate solution.
                That ultimate solution being CURE not Death.

                Ramps and other adaptations wouldn't be such an issue if there were a CURE.

                ~ Choices Are The Hinges Of Destiny ~

                Comment


                  #23
                  'Million Dollar' storm

                  'Million Dollar' storm
                  By Sharon Waxman The New York Times Wednesday, February 2, 2005
                  NEW YORK When the Clint Eastwood film "Million Dollar Baby" came out, critics praised the film for its subtle power, moving performances and the quiet confidence of its director. But not wanting to give away its ending, few mentioned that a controversial social issue was buried in its plot.
                  .
                  But now that it has been nominated for seven Oscars, social activists and conservative commentators have emerged to criticize the film, which they say sends a message advocating assisted suicide.
                  .
                  Defenders of the film say its intention is not to make a political statement, and that it is the filmmakers' right to tell the story he or she chooses. (Those who have not seen the movie and do not wish to know the plot may not want to read further.)
                  .
                  "Million Dollar Baby" tells the story of a young woman (Hilary Swank) who strives to be a champion boxer, being groomed by a crusty old trainer, played by Eastwood. But when her character is badly injured and paralyzed, Eastwood's character must decide whether to help her die.
                  .
                  Both Swank and Eastwood were nominated for their performances, along with Morgan Freeman, playing an ex-boxer, who is up for best supporting actor. Eastwood was also nominated for his direction, and the film is up for best picture.
                  .
                  Some conservative critics have criticized the film widely, but advocates for the rights of the disabled are also taking aim, saying the character's decision to die gives the wrong message.
                  .
                  "Any movie that sends a message that having a spinal cord injury is a fate worse than death is a movie that concerns us tremendously," said Marcie Roth, executive director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association. She cited a letter from a mother with a paralyzed son, who said the film had made it more difficult for her to keep hope alive in him.
                  .
                  Others are angrier still. "This movie is a corny, melodramatic assault on people with disabilities," wrote Stephen Drake on the Web site of an activist group called Not Dead Yet, which picketed the film in Chicago this month. "It plays out killing as a romantic fantasy and gives emotional life to the 'better dead than disabled' mindset lurking in the heart of the typical (read: nondisabled) audience member."
                  .
                  Eastwood said in a telephone interview that he was not surprised at the protest, but that the film was not about the right to die. "The film is supposed to make you think about the precariousness of life and how we handle it," he said. "How the character handles it is certainly different than how I might handle it if I were in that position in real life. Every story is a 'what if."'
                  .
                  .
                  See more of the world that matters - click here for home delivery of the International Herald Tribune.
                  .
                  < < Back to Start of Article NEW YORK When the Clint Eastwood film "Million Dollar Baby" came out, critics praised the film for its subtle power, moving performances and the quiet confidence of its director. But not wanting to give away its ending, few mentioned that a controversial social issue was buried in its plot.
                  .
                  But now that it has been nominated for seven Oscars, social activists and conservative commentators have emerged to criticize the film, which they say sends a message advocating assisted suicide.
                  .
                  Defenders of the film say its intention is not to make a political statement, and that it is the filmmakers' right to tell the story he or she chooses. (Those who have not seen the movie and do not wish to know the plot may not want to read further.)
                  .
                  "Million Dollar Baby" tells the story of a young woman (Hilary Swank) who strives to be a champion boxer, being groomed by a crusty old trainer, played by Eastwood. But when her character is badly injured and paralyzed, Eastwood's character must decide whether to help her die.
                  .
                  Both Swank and Eastwood were nominated for their performances, along with Morgan Freeman, playing an ex-boxer, who is up for best supporting actor. Eastwood was also nominated for his direction, and the film is up for best picture.
                  .
                  Some conservative critics have criticized the film widely, but advocates for the rights of the disabled are also taking aim, saying the character's decision to die gives the wrong message.
                  .
                  "Any movie that sends a message that having a spinal cord injury is a fate worse than death is a movie that concerns us tremendously," said Marcie Roth, executive director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association. She cited a letter from a mother with a paralyzed son, who said the film had made it more difficult for her to keep hope alive in him.
                  .
                  Others are angrier still. "This movie is a corny, melodramatic assault on people with disabilities," wrote Stephen Drake on the Web site of an activist group called Not Dead Yet, which picketed the film in Chicago this month. "It plays out killing as a romantic fantasy and gives emotional life to the 'better dead than disabled' mindset lurking in the heart of the typical (read: nondisabled) audience member."
                  .
                  Eastwood said in a telephone interview that he was not surprised at the protest, but that the film was not about the right to die. "The film is supposed to make you think about the precariousness of life and how we handle it," he said. "How the character handles it is certainly different than how I might handle it if I were in that position in real life. Every story is a 'what if."'
                  .
                  .
                  See more of the world that matters - click here for home delivery of the International Herald Tribune.
                  .
                  < < Back to Start of Article NEW YORK When the Clint Eastwood film "Million Dollar Baby" came out, critics praised the film for its subtle power, moving performances and the quiet confidence of its director. But not wanting to give away its ending, few mentioned that a controversial social issue was buried in its plot.
                  .
                  But now that it has been nominated for seven Oscars, social activists and conservative commentators have emerged to criticize the film, which they say sends a message advocating assisted suicide.
                  .
                  Defenders of the film say its intention is not to make a political statement, and that it is the filmmakers' right to tell the story he or she chooses. (Those who have not seen the movie and do not wish to know the plot may not want to read further.)
                  .
                  "Million Dollar Baby" tells the story of a young woman (Hilary Swank) who strives to be a champion boxer, being groomed by a crusty old trainer, played by Eastwood. But when her character is badly injured and paralyzed, Eastwood's character must decide whether to help her die.
                  .
                  Both Swank and Eastwood were nominated for their performances, along with Morgan Freeman, playing an ex-boxer, who is up for best supporting actor. Eastwood was also nominated for his direction, and the film is up for best picture.
                  .
                  Some conservative critics have criticized the film widely, but advocates for the rights of the disabled are also taking aim, saying the character's decision to die gives the wrong message.
                  .
                  "Any movie that sends a message that having a spinal cord injury is a fate worse than death is a movie that concerns us tremendously," said Marcie Roth, executive director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association. She cited a letter from a mother with a paralyzed son, who said the film had made it more difficult for her to keep hope alive in him.
                  .
                  Others are angrier still. "This movie is a corny, melodramatic assault on people with disabilities," wrote Stephen Drake on the Web site of an activist group called Not Dead Yet, which picketed the film in Chicago this month. "It plays out killing as a romantic fantasy and gives emotional life to the 'better dead than disabled' mindset lurking in the heart of the typical (read: nondisabled) audience member."
                  .
                  Eastwood said in a telephone interview that he was not surprised at the protest, but that the film was not about the right to die. "The film is supposed to make you think about the precariousness of life and how we handle it," he said. "How the character handles it is certainly different than how I might handle it if I were in that position in real life. Every story is a 'what if."'
                  .
                  .
                  See more of the world that matters - click here for home delivery of the International Herald Tribune.
                  .
                  < < Back to Start of Article NEW YORK When the Clint Eastwood film "Million Dollar Baby" came out, critics praised the film for its subtle power, moving performances and the quiet confidence of its director. But not wanting to give away its ending, few mentioned that a controversial social issue was buried in its plot.
                  .
                  But now that it has been nominated for seven Oscars, social activists and conservative commentators have emerged to criticize the film, which they say sends a message advocating assisted suicide.
                  .
                  Defenders of the film say its intention is not to make a political statement, and that it is the filmmakers' right to tell the story he or she chooses. (Those who have not seen the movie and do not wish to know the plot may not want to read further.)
                  .
                  "Million Dollar Baby" tells the story of a young woman (Hilary Swank) who strives to be a champion boxer, being groomed by a crusty old trainer, played by Eastwood. But when her character is badly injured and paralyzed, Eastwood's character must decide whether to help her die.
                  .
                  Both Swank and Eastwood were nominated for their performances, along with Morgan Freeman, playing an ex-boxer, who is up for best supporting actor. Eastwood was also nominated for his direction, and the film is up for best picture.
                  .
                  Some conservative critics have criticized the film widely, but advocates for the rights of the disabled are also taking aim, saying the character's decision to die gives the wrong message.
                  .
                  "Any movie that sends a message that having a spinal cord injury is a fate worse than death is a movie that concerns us tremendously," said Marcie Roth, executive director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association. She cited a letter from a mother with a paralyzed son, who said the film had made it more difficult for her to keep hope alive in him.
                  .
                  Others are angrier still. "This movie is a corny, melodramatic assault on people with disabilities," wrote Stephen Drake on the Web site of an activist
                  http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/02/.../eastwood.html



                  http://stores.ebay.com/MAKSYM-Variety-Store
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                  Comment


                    #24
                    Originally posted by Max:

                    'Million Dollar' storm
                    By Sharon Waxman The New York Times Wednesday, February 2, 2005
                    NEW YORK When the Clint Eastwood film "Million Dollar Baby" came out, critics praised the film for its subtle power, moving performances and the quiet confidence of its director. But not wanting to give away its ending, few mentioned that a controversial social issue was buried in its plot.
                    .
                    But now that it has been nominated for seven Oscars, social activists and conservative commentators have emerged to criticize the film, which they say sends a message advocating assisted suicide.
                    .
                    Defenders of the film say its intention is not to make a political statement, and that it is the filmmakers' right to tell the story he or she chooses. (Those who have not seen the movie and do not wish to know the plot may not want to read further.)
                    .
                    "Million Dollar Baby" tells the story of a young woman (Hilary Swank) who strives to be a champion boxer, being groomed by a crusty old trainer, played by Eastwood. But when her character is badly injured and paralyzed, Eastwood's character must decide whether to help her die.
                    .
                    Both Swank and Eastwood were nominated for their performances, along with Morgan Freeman, playing an ex-boxer, who is up for best supporting actor. Eastwood was also nominated for his direction, and the film is up for best picture.
                    .
                    Some conservative critics have criticized the film widely, but advocates for the rights of the disabled are also taking aim, saying the character's decision to die gives the wrong message.
                    .
                    "Any movie that sends a message that having a spinal cord injury is a fate worse than death is a movie that concerns us tremendously," said Marcie Roth, executive director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association. She cited a letter from a mother with a paralyzed son, who said the film had made it more difficult for her to keep hope alive in him.
                    .
                    Others are angrier still. "This movie is a corny, melodramatic assault on people with disabilities," wrote Stephen Drake on the Web site of an activist group called Not Dead Yet, which picketed the film in Chicago this month. "It plays out killing as a romantic fantasy and gives emotional life to the 'better dead than disabled' mindset lurking in the heart of the typical (read: nondisabled) audience member."
                    .
                    Eastwood said in a telephone interview that he was not surprised at the protest, but that the film was not about the right to die. "The film is supposed to make you think about the precariousness of life and how we handle it," he said. "How the character handles it is certainly different than how I might handle it if I were in that position in real life. Every story is a 'what if."'
                    .
                    .
                    See more of the world that matters - click here for home delivery of the International Herald Tribune.
                    .
                    < < Back to Start of Article NEW YORK When the Clint Eastwood film "Million Dollar Baby" came out, critics praised the film for its subtle power, moving performances and the quiet confidence of its director. But not wanting to give away its ending, few mentioned that a controversial social issue was buried in its plot.
                    .
                    But now that it has been nominated for seven Oscars, social activists and conservative commentators have emerged to criticize the film, which they say sends a message advocating assisted suicide.
                    .
                    Defenders of the film say its intention is not to make a political statement, and that it is the filmmakers' right to tell the story he or she chooses. (Those who have not seen the movie and do not wish to know the plot may not want to read further.)
                    .
                    "Million Dollar Baby" tells the story of a young woman (Hilary Swank) who strives to be a champion boxer, being groomed by a crusty old trainer, played by Eastwood. But when her character is badly injured and paralyzed, Eastwood's character must decide whether to help her die.
                    .
                    Both Swank and Eastwood were nominated for their performances, along with Morgan Freeman, playing an ex-boxer, who is up for best supporting actor. Eastwood was also nominated for his direction, and the film is up for best picture.
                    .
                    Some conservative critics have criticized the film widely, but advocates for the rights of the disabled are also taking aim, saying the character's decision to die gives the wrong message.
                    .
                    "Any movie that sends a message that having a spinal cord injury is a fate worse than death is a movie that concerns us tremendously," said Marcie Roth, executive director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association. She cited a letter from a mother with a paralyzed son, who said the film had made it more difficult for her to keep hope alive in him.
                    .
                    Others are angrier still. "This movie is a corny, melodramatic assault on people with disabilities," wrote Stephen Drake on the Web site of an activist group called Not Dead Yet, which picketed the film in Chicago this month. "It plays out killing as a romantic fantasy and gives emotional life to the 'better dead than disabled' mindset lurking in the heart of the typical (read: nondisabled) audience member."
                    .
                    Eastwood said in a telephone interview that he was not surprised at the protest, but that the film was not about the right to die. "The film is supposed to make you think about the precariousness of life and how we handle it," he said. "How the character handles it is certainly different than how I might handle it if I were in that position in real life. Every story is a 'what if."'
                    .
                    .
                    See more of the world that matters - click here for home delivery of the International Herald Tribune.
                    .
                    < < Back to Start of Article NEW YORK When the Clint Eastwood film "Million Dollar Baby" came out, critics praised the film for its subtle power, moving performances and the quiet confidence of its director. But not wanting to give away its ending, few mentioned that a controversial social issue was buried in its plot.
                    .
                    But now that it has been nominated for seven Oscars, social activists and conservative commentators have emerged to criticize the film, which they say sends a message advocating assisted suicide.
                    .
                    Defenders of the film say its intention is not to make a political statement, and that it is the filmmakers' right to tell the story he or she chooses. (Those who have not seen the movie and do not wish to know the plot may not want to read further.)
                    .
                    "Million Dollar Baby" tells the story of a young woman (Hilary Swank) who strives to be a champion boxer, being groomed by a crusty old trainer, played by Eastwood. But when her character is badly injured and paralyzed, Eastwood's character must decide whether to help her die.
                    .
                    Both Swank and Eastwood were nominated for their performances, along with Morgan Freeman, playing an ex-boxer, who is up for best supporting actor. Eastwood was also nominated for his direction, and the film is up for best picture.
                    .
                    Some conservative critics have criticized the film widely, but advocates for the rights of the disabled are also taking aim, saying the character's decision to die gives the wrong message.
                    .
                    "Any movie that sends a message that having a spinal cord injury is a fate worse than death is a movie that concerns us tremendously," said Marcie Roth, executive director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association. She cited a letter from a mother with a paralyzed son, who said the film had made it more difficult for her to keep hope alive in him.
                    .
                    Others are angrier still. "This movie is a corny, melodramatic assault on people with disabilities," wrote Stephen Drake on the Web site of an activist group called Not Dead Yet, which picketed the film in Chicago this month. "It plays out killing as a romantic fantasy and gives emotional life to the 'better dead than disabled' mindset lurking in the heart of the typical (read: nondisabled) audience member."
                    .
                    Eastwood said in a telephone interview that he was not surprised at the protest, but that the film was not about the right to die. "The film is supposed to make you think about the precariousness of life and how we handle it," he said. "How the character handles it is certainly different than how I might handle it if I were in that position in real life. Every story is a 'what if."'
                    .
                    .
                    See more of the world that matters - click here for home delivery of the International Herald Tribune.
                    .
                    < < Back to Start of Article NEW YORK When the Clint Eastwood film "Million Dollar Baby" came out, critics praised the film for its subtle power, moving performances and the quiet confidence of its director. But not wanting to give away its ending, few mentioned that a controversial social issue was buried in its plot.
                    .
                    But now that it has been nominated for seven Oscars, social activists and conservative commentators have emerged to criticize the film, which they say sends a message advocating assisted suicide.
                    .
                    Defenders of the film say its intention is not to make a political statement, and that it is the filmmakers' right to tell the story he or she chooses. (Those who have not seen the movie and do not wish to know the plot may not want to read further.)
                    .
                    "Million Dollar Baby" tells the story of a young woman (Hilary Swank) who strives to be a champion boxer, being groomed by a crusty old trainer, played by Eastwood. But when her character is badly injured and paralyzed, Eastwood's character must decide whether to help her die.
                    .
                    Both Swank and Eastwood were nominated for their performances, along with Morgan Freeman, playing an ex-boxer, who is up for best supporting actor. Eastwood was also nominated for his direction, and the film is up for best picture.
                    .
                    Some conservative critics have criticized the film widely, but advocates for the rights of the disabled are also taking aim, saying the character's decision to die gives the wrong message.
                    .
                    "Any movie that sends a message that having a spinal cord injury is a fate worse than death is a movie that concerns us tremendously," said Marcie Roth, executive director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association. She cited a letter from a mother with a paralyzed son, who said the film had made it more difficult for her to keep hope alive in him.
                    .
                    Others are angrier still. "This movie is a corny, melodramatic assault on people with disabilities," wrote Stephen Drake on the Web site of an activist
                    http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/02/.../eastwood.html



                    http://stores.ebay.com/MAKSYM-Variety-Store


                    ppl always find something to whine and bitch about, then call it social activism. unbelievable , its a freaking movie
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                      #25
                      Fuente - agreed, its only a movie.

                      However, movies often do reflect a culture's perceptions, interpretations right or wrong.

                      Many people blindly follow what the media spoon-feeds them. Prior to any of our accidents did any of us really know and understand the details of sci?

                      Instead of the disability community pursuing its own vendetta against Eastwood and the movie we should see it as an opportunity to continue to educate people as to the errors and mistakes made in the film.

                      Just as the makers of the film made mistakes we are just as guilty in making those our sole focus. The movie wasn't about sci and I sincerely doubt that Eastwood purposely misrepresented it.

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                        #26
                        Conservative activists among those knocking Oscar-nominated film

                        Conservative activists among those knocking Oscar-nominated film
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                        LOS ANGELES If "Million Dollar Baby" wins the Oscar for Best Picture -- there won't be any applause from some activist groups.

                        A warning to those who haven't seen the movie -- we're about to give away the ending, so we can say what the fuss is about.

                        It tells the story of a female boxer played by Hillary Swank, and her trainer, played by Clint Eastwood. They develop a father-daughter relationship.

                        Swank's character is blind-sided by a vicious opponent, and ends up paralyzed. She decides she doesn't want to live that way, and asks Eastwood's character to help her die. After much agonizing, he does.

                        Detractors say the movie rejects the idea that people with paralyzing injuries can lead lives that are worth living. And they the film is little more than propaganda supporting legalization of assisted suicide.

                        Eastwood -- who also directed -- says that's not what it's about.

                        The head of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association complains that people "still think having a spinal-cord injury is a fate worse than death."

                        http://www.whbf.com/Global/story.asp?S=2898181



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                          #27
                          Originally posted by Faye:

                          I think a movie like this makes a case for more CURE research.

                          If Clint dislikes "disability" that much maybe he should donate money towards the ultimate solution.
                          That ultimate solution being CURE not Death.

                          Ramps and other adaptations wouldn't be such an issue if there were a CURE.
                          Faye, there will always be OLD PEOPLE in wheelchairs, unless you are talking about a cure for death itself. Making buildings accessible isn't just about people with SCI or other diseases/conditions. That is one of the things the disability rights movement should ALWAYS emphasize: this is about YOU, your parents, your grandparents. It's not just about being nice to "someone else"...my grandmother used a wheelchair for 7 years before she died.

                          Thanks for the NY Times link, Max. Had not read that one.

                          Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.-- Søren Kierkegaard
                          "Who are all these strange ghosts rooted to the silly little adventure of earth with me?"--Jack Kerouac

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                            #28
                            Down for the Count

                            Million Dollar Baby

                            Clint Eastwood, USA, 2004

                            Rating: 2.6 (out of 5)

                            Posted: January 29, 2005

                            By Laurence Station

                            (Editor's Note: Spoiler Alert: Major plot points are revealed in this review. Sorry, but that's just the way it is. If you're upset that you won't be able to figure out whether you'd like the film without reading the review, well, the rating up above pretty much says it all. -- Kevin Forest Moreau, Editor-in-Chief)

                            Finally, a boxing movie Dr. Jack Kevorkian can love. Obviously, everyone has the right to die. But what if a person who wants to die is physically incapable of terminating his or her own life? Well, that's when you need a little help from your friends. Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby is far more interested in saying something about living and dying than it is with examining the game of boxing. Instead, it uses the ring and the gym as staging points for director Eastwood to mediate on the choices people make, for better and worse, that define who they are and what their lives have meant. Boxing is a sport where one bad blow can kill a person -- that's part of the thrill, for spectators and participants alike: There's a grim finality to pugilism, and that's what draws people to the matches.

                            In Million Dollar Baby Eastwood plays Frankie Dunn, a veteran trainer who owns a gym and watches his heavyweight protégé walk out on him (and subsequently win his coveted title with a new manager). Frankie is considered a great teacher, but too cautious to coach a fighter all the way to the top. Enter Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank), a 31-year-old, dirt-poor waitress with aspirations of becoming a great fighter. She wants Frankie to train her, but he doesn't "train girls." Naturally, Maggie sticks around the gym anyway, and Frankie ultimately gives in and takes her under his wing.

                            Morgan Freeman plays Scrap, a retired boxer and, seemingly, Frankie's only friend. Scrap manages and lives at the gym, and offers an omniscient voice throughout, clueing us in to private details about the other characters: Maggie knows she's trash; Frankie is scared of success, always pulling up short with his fighters when he should be urging them toward bigger and better contests. How Scrap attains such wisdom is a mystery, but his narration does slot in cozily with the multitude of clichés plaguing this movie.

                            From the old trainer taking on the untested newcomer, to the Irish Catholic priest Frankie confides in and argues with, all the way to the big fight itself, Million Dollar Baby regrettably holds to the traditions of predictable plot turns and ham-fisted messages about life and loss -- a tradition which has followed boxing films since Wallace Beery's Depression-era The Champ. Yes, Maggie goes from neophyte to contender in a relatively short span of time. Yes, she breaks through Frankie's gruff exterior, becoming a surrogate daughter to a man who's (no, really?) estranged from his only child. And yes, her opponent in the big title match is a thoroughly unlikable cheater who's also much bigger and stronger than she is.

                            But there doesn't have to be anything wrong with all of that. Honestly, if Million Dollar Baby were just a boxing movie most of this could be forgiven -- all of the above falls right in line with the genre's conventions and expectations, and that's hardly a capital offense. But Baby aspires to be so much more than a mere boxing picture. All of the pugilism is just setup for the last third, when Baby morphs into a "dying with dignity" flick.

                            And that's where it craters. Following Maggie as she rises through the ranks is at least entertaining. Though she wins her matches with credulity-straining ease, it's still exciting. It's when Maggie suffers a paralyzing injury in the ring and asks Frankie to end her life that Million Dollar Baby shamelessly manipulates its audience. And it doesn't let up, piling on emotionally devastating moments like when Maggie's embarrassingly stereotypical trailer-trash family arrives at the hospital and attempts to force Maggie to sign over her winnings to them. And then an infection sets in, and one of Maggie's legs has to be amputated. It's just ridiculously excessive. Why does it have to be so catastrophic? Ah, but there's a reason. Eastwood can't justify snuffing out Maggie's life just because Maggie can't face living life as a severely disabled person. No, it has to be because she's suffers so enormously that we, the audience, will actually be rooting for Frankie to pull the plug on his plucky prizefighter. So to make sure we do, the hardships must multiply.

                            If you've got to bend over so far backwards to justify a person's right to die, then maybe you shouldn't be taking a stance on such an inflammatory position at all. Million Dollar Baby might have made a decent addition to the boxing-film genre, had it not gotten bogged down by weighty pretensions regarding fate, choice and empty resolutions. Eastwood should have never left the boxing ring.
                            ShakingThrough reviews

                            Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.-- Søren Kierkegaard
                            "Who are all these strange ghosts rooted to the silly little adventure of earth with me?"--Jack Kerouac

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                              #29
                              Hey, maybe somebody already mentioned it in another post, but Eastwood's message in "Million Dollar Baby" sounds to me like he's just using film to garner support for his previous stance that people with disabilitites are a drain on (his personal) economics and ought to be eliminated. When sued for not adhering to ADA accomodations at his Bed & Breakfast, he appealed to Congress to water down the ADA legislation. "Extortion" he called -- when a disabled person wanted to rent an adequate accessable room for the same price (not double) that which is charged for the other rooms in his Bed-&-Breakfast. C'mon, Clint, haven't you made enough $$$ off all your films??? People with an injury deserve to be euthanized? As if we are sub-human, imperfect specimens. That's pretty sick-o.

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                                #30
                                Death, not disability, is the end of the world

                                Death, not disability, is the end of the world
                                CBC News Viewpoint | February 03, 2005 | More from Disability Matters

                                This column will feature three writers, each with a different disability. They all have something to say about living with a disability and how they view awareness and attitudes toward disabilities in Canada. The column will deal with the rights of people with disabilities, eliminating inequality and discrimination, and issues of self-help and consumer advocacy. Our plan is to rotate among our columnists to have a new column each month.


                                --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                Ed Smith is a retired educator and full-time writer. His humour column runs in several papers and magazines and he has had eight books published. He has been quadriplegic since 1998. Ed lives in Springdale, Nfld.


                                --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                Clint Eastwood just lost me as a fan, something I'm sure will keep him awake nights.

                                His latest movie, Million Dollar Baby, has won praise from everyone who's seen it, and perhaps a few who haven't. As a person with quadriplegia I see it as nothing more or less than a scurrilous attack on people with spinal cord injury specifically, and those with disabilities generally.

                                A couple of years ago I gave a keynote presentation to a conference on disabilities. It was meant to be an upbeat and "go get 'em" type speech and from the standing ovation at the end it seemed I had succeeded admirably. Less than an hour later one of the delegates to the conference (we'll call him Jack) button-holed me in the hotel lobby. He looked me up and down and then spoke in confidential tones.

                                "When I see you now," he said, "and remember what you used to be like, I think 'twould be better if you were dead."

                                Jack and Clint would have hit it off well. Million Dollar Baby, which Eastwood both directs and stars in, is the story of a fight manager with a promising young boxer. The fighter gets a spinal cord injury in a fall and at her request the manager (Eastwood) kills her as she lies in a nursing home. The film will likely win all kinds of awards.

                                Not from me, even if I had them to give. Eastwood has hardly been a friend of people with disabilities. He was sued in 1997 for refusing to include $7,000 worth of accessible bathrooms in his $6.7-million resort renovations. Caring chap, Clint.

                                So it's what the boxer wanted, right? It's what I wanted, too, when I discovered I was paralysed in almost 90 per cent of my body. I pleaded with my wife to have me shot or put down in some merciful fashion. At the time, I didn't even care if it was merciful. That was for the first two days. Now, six years later, I'm rather glad she didn't.

                                Actor Christopher Reeve had a similar experience. So did many people I know who have suffered from catastrophic injury.

                                Incredibly, a preponderance of the population, even in our "enlightened" Canadian society, agrees with Jack that we're better off dead.

                                http://www.cbc.ca/news/viewpoint/vp_..._20050203.html



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