Dislecksia: The Movie (2013) Review

Dislecksia: The Movie is a well put together and often very personal look at a condition that affects one out of every seven people in America, but still has little understanding by the general populace. Hopefully this film is about to change all that.

Like director, producer, and narrator of the film Harvey Hubbell V, chances are most people know someone or they themselves have some form of dyslexia. And unless you’re part of some of the great teams around the world taking steps and working to better diagnose and teach people with this condition, your scope of understanding about this subject is probably limited.

Throughout the film, Harvey shares personal details and talks about the struggles he faced growing up and attending school after he found out about his dyslexic condition. Starting in 1966, we are given accounts from family members, teachers, and friends about what his life was like as a child, and how the disability had a direct affect on him. It’s not until 1975 that the first laws were even passed to identify students with learning disabilities. But by then the mental humiliation and personal struggles had already taken their toll. Even as we see Harvey in his current state, directing and interviewing people on the street for the film, there’s something just under the surface that is visible to anyone who has ever gone through or is continually dealing with this affliction.

Thankfully though, the film focuses much more on making people aware of the condition and figuring out how to properly teach those affected by it. Cameos from Billy Bob Thornton (who unwittingly steals every scene he’s in) Stephen J. Cannell, Sarah Joy Brown, Joe Pantoliano, and Billy Blanks, all testify about how hard it was growing up with dyslexia, but that it was also somewhat of a blessing in disguise. Some other small names thought to have had some form or another of this condition are Walt Disney, Beethoven, Picasso, Charles Schwab, Thomas Edison, and Einstein. As Harvey poignantly points out, these people found a way to get their life-changing ideas out to the world, “but most of today’s dyslexic’s never make it to success.”

This film is really at its best when introducing us to the cutting edge technology and difference makers that are paving the way for the general public, teachers, parents, and education boards on how to properly help and identify those who have learning disabilities. Special learning centers like the Foreman and Kildonan Schools have been specifically set up to help children with dyslexic learning problems.

Audiences will also learn about (FAPE) Free Appropriate Public Education, and Special Education advocate Stephen Wright, who is helping to teach parents how to gain more knowledge and be better advocates for their children with learning disabilities.

All in all, this is a very well rounded and personal look at what dyslexia is, and how much farther we still have to go in properly identifying and helping those who have it. The film even has a website (http://www.dislecksiathemovie.com/) where you can go to get involved, host a screening, and gain a better perspective and more information on the subject.

To quote the director, “How many Einstein’s have we squashed? It’s time for the world to recognize cerebral diversity and allow dyslexic people their rightful place in society, instead of ridiculing them for their weaknesses.”