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  Film Review: 'DISLECKSIA: A Movie'

Leslie Lee |
September 25, 2013 | 8:18 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Emmy award winning filmmaker Harvey Hubbel V showcases his documentary "Dislecksia: The Movie", which insightfully explores the world of dyslexia and the false stigmas that surround it. 

Informative and inspiring, with a touch of Hubbel humor, the documentary provides an inside look into the daily lives of dyslexics who struggle in a society that places such a huge emphasis on academic excellence and literacy. 

Director Harvey Hubbel V (courtesy of Captured Time Productions)
Director Harvey Hubbel V (courtesy of Captured Time Productions)
Taking the personal accounts of filmmakers, teachers, legislators, archeologists, scientists, and dyslexics from a vast array of professions, the film spreads more awareness on a topic that has been largely misunderstood and rather obscure. 

For instance, dyslexia is commonly perceived as a "learning disability", promoting the notion that dyslexics are somehow less intelligent or capable than regular people. Such beliefs have become imbedded not only in the public mindset, but also in the mindsets of dyslexics who are gradually becoming demoralized and subjecting themselves to these narrow-minded ideas. The film explains how this is precisely the reason why dyslexic students are linked to certain behavioral traits in the classroom, such as low self-esteem, unwillingness to participate, and lack of work ethic. 

The film further exposes  the flaws in the American school system by sharing the experiences of dyslexics who have been dismissively labeled as incompetent and unmotivated students by their teachers and administrators. As one student put it, school was an opportunity to "feel stupid again."

Hubbel stresses how this insensitive treatment of dyslexic students happens far too often and severely damages the students' belief in themselves, thereby preventing them from reaching their true potential. 

However, the film retains a sense of hope. Hubbel documents the indefatigable efforts and feats of scientists and teachers who have collaborated to find effective methods of teaching dyslexic students how to read at an early age. The Haskins Literacy Initiative is an organization formed to aid in these efforts, and is devoted to fostering a positive learning environment for students of all reading levels. HIT encourages teachers to use a positive approach when teaching their students and to view dyslexia as a learning difference, not a disability.

"Dislecksia" further debunks this negative view of dyslexics by telling inspirational stories of dyslexics who have transcended their difficulties and found success by living life on their own terms. Hubbel lists off a series of statistics and facts on famous dysexlics to prove that their dyslexia was not a disadvantage by any means. (3 out of 10 CEO's in the United States are dyslexic. Countless movie stars and directors are dyslexic. Even the inventor of Twister was dyslexic!) Featuring inspiring figures such as David Boies, Stephen J. Cannell, and Joe Pantoliano, the film portrays dyslexics as people with limitless potential; they may have different talents and ways of learning, but are by no means less capable. 

The film successfully clears up preconceived misunderstandings of dyslexia that have existed for so long within the subconscious of our culture. Ending on a positive note, Hubbel is confident that initiatives to reach out to dyslexics will have great implications for their education and their futures.

With the approach of October, which just so happens to be National Dyslexia Awareness Month, the film's relevance is especially apparent. In a society where such issues are largely disregarded, "Dislecksia" definitely resonates with uninformed viewer. 

Watch the trailer here:

Reach Staff Reporter Leslie Lee here.



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