Recommendations for health related events, activities, and resources

Breathe

Recommended by Yeeun Lee

Searching for a lighthearted movie to watch on a Friday night, I came across Breathe. What started off as a typical romantic movie quickly took an unexpected turn when the main character, Robin Cavendish, contracts polio at the age of 28. The movie is set in Britain, in the mid 1900s, a time where contracting polio wasn’t unheard of. The inspiring storyline focuses on the persistence of both his wife, Diana, and Robin Cavendish as they challenge the standard treatment of care for polio at the time, which focused heavily on quantity and not quality of life. 

The movie not only reminds us of the pre-vaccine era but it raises awareness of how society understood—and to some extent still understands—disability. This is powerfully conveyed in the scene where Cavendish addresses a panel of doctors at a conference about disability to ask: “Why do you keep your disabled people in prison?”

Cavendish lives for many more years, advocating for and transforming the lives of many like him. 

Breathe is based on a true story and was produced by the son of the main character. Inspired by his parents’ story, Jonathan Cavendish produced the film to open up a discussion on disability and to question how we treat disabled people. If you are looking for a movie that is funny and captivating, yet informative and inspiring, this is the one.

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