Jun 15, 2008

I Am Not a Freak

From what I can gather, I Am Not a Freak is a made-for-TV documentary directed by Kirby Dick. If you've heard his name, It's from one or two sources most likely. One being the recent This Film is Not Yet Rated (The documentary which made way to expose to MPAA) and the 1997 cult documentary SICK: The Life & Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist. This prior outing is a small yet sweet little appetizer of freak show nostalgia.

The process of this film's ascension into maximum runtime is built upon 6 deformed humans. Humans being the key word, this doc. describes scenarios and tries to dissolve hate and confusion by humanizing such people; Men and Women who fit the title of "Creature" We have an Elephant Man, a Progeria victim, an extremely obese woman, a dwarf of an extreme nature, and the story of an Asian villager whose dead twin's head was visible on the right side of his face.

This film reminds me of a book I had found in my mothers closet as a child. The dust flap was missing, leaving a flat engraving of a siamese pair. The pictures promptly horrified me. I blame this book and the collected series of Man, Myth & Magic for my corruption.

The film opens up with stories of the old times where people went to freak shows to be horrified. It stated how attractions would rake in thousands of dollars a week. From story to story, their success and careers began to bloom. One acted in a film and another is a regular motion picture actor. I did notice one thing about this film, and it is that the film is mildly hypocritical. It seemed to shun the effects of freak shows but then applauded the usage of "freaks" in Hollywood films, playing aliens and what not.

The film led me to believe that Mickey Hays (Progeria) had acquired the role in The Aurora Encounter out of his sheer looks (A wrinkled raisin) but I later found out he had begged the Make A Wish foundation for a role in a major motion picture. Too bad it was a negatively received pile of family filth.

Starring in a film due to your extremely disgusting looks is more or less the same role in society that ye ole' freak shows. When we watch horror films, Do you expect us to not gawk at the tiny man with three mouths? Equality with conditions such as these is a hard goal to aim for with such hatred spreading. I myself, find it hard to not stare crudely at someone with a deformity.



Fox said...

What I love about this blog is the way you guys consistently dig and find the most bizarre films that I've never heard of

While I may not have the heart to seek out *I Am Not A Freak*, it's nice to have it on my radar. Is it wrong to say that watching a film like this is still kind of hard for me? That's probably just showing my prejudice, but it's true.

Soiled Sinema said...

Hard in what way?

You don't have the heart to watch? or are you disgusted?

Cause I can relate to both. I remember one time when I met an old flame's grandfather and went to shook his hand, I had no idea he only had 3 fingers. The oldest Ninja Turtle in existence.

Thanks for appreciating Soiled Sinema! I also love Tractor Facts and the ever-changing styles of writing you use.

Anonymous said...

im extremely appalled by what was said about mickey hays. children with progeria all have the same type of look. Progeria is one of the saddest diseases out there where children are gawked at for their looks and are ticking time bombs for death, and along with that comes a never ending list of medical problems. Children with progeria usually die at around 10 years old but some have lived to their 20's. My 9 yr old sister has progeria and she's had the hardest life of anyone i've ever met. She has taught me so much.. priceless life lessons. And has helped discover the purpose of life. Whoever wrote this blog is disgusting, and let me just say karma does come around so watch what you say. Lets hope u never have any children with disabilities because u wouldnt deserve them.

Soiled Sinema said...

I'm going to put my "retarded"
seed in your belly. If it offends you, don't read it.