Covid Inquiry 2-3 December 2023

The experiences of Deaf and Disabled people during the Covid-19 pandemic continue to be ignored by official inquiries. Our special programme, available for the duration of the Together! 2023 Disability Film Festival, highlights the experiences of Deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK, and of Black care home residents in the US. This programme has now ended.

Still from film

My Glow. Sahera Khan. United Kingdom. 2022. 10m 2s. Festival Premiere. In BSL and English with English captions. FFF, DDD. A mature, Deaf, Muslim, British Sign Language (BSL) mother shares her pregnancy journey through the pandemic, and how she coped with limited communication with others such as the health service.

still from the filmI can’t hear you?. Rhys Beardsley. United Kingdom. 2021. 3m 8s. In English with English captions. DD. Following the struggles of Deaf and hard of hearing people throughout the Covid 19 pandemic and lockdowns.


still from the filmWhere is the Interpreter? Part 1 & 2. Cathy Heffernan. United Kingdom. 2022. 27m 42s, 27m 36s. In BSL with English captions. F, DDD. In Part 1, BSL users share their experience of trying to access information about Covid, and the subsequent campaign that emerged to raise awareness of the problem. Lynn Stewart Taylor and her team need to raise money to challenge the Government in court — their aim is to see an interpreter next to Boris on BBC. Lynn decides to do a fundraising walk across the country to Downing street, but with painful health issues, will she be able to achieve her target?

Still from filmIn Part 2, the campaign #Whereistheinterpreter is gathering momentum and Lynn has embarked on her fundraising walk, but it‘s not clear whether she will achieve the finances necessary to challenge the Government in court. The campaign wants a ‘Judicial Review’ in which a High Court judge will assess whether the Government’s processes are lawful. Sign Language access to Government announcements has never before been raised in a High Court setting. Will the team’s efforts be successful?

Still from filmFire through dry grass. Alexis Neophytides, Andres Molina. United States. 2022. 1hr 26m. In English with English captions. F, DD. Co-Directors Alexis Neophytides and Andres “Jay” Molina take viewers inside Coler nursing home, on Roosevelt Island, where Jay lives with his fellow Reality Poets, a group of mostly gun violence survivors.

Still from filmUsing GoPros clamped to their wheelchairs, they document their harrowing experiences on “lock down.” Covid-positive patients are moved into their bedrooms; nurses fashion PPE out of garbage bags; refrigerated-trailer morgues hum outside residents’ windows. All the while public officials deny the suffering and dying behind Coler’s brick walls. The Reality Poets’ rhymes flow throughout the film, underscoring their feelings that their home is now as dangerous as the streets they once ran and—as summer turns to fall turns to winter—that they’re prisoners without a release date. But instead of history repeating itself on this tiny island with a dark history of institutional neglect and abandonment, Fire Through Dry Grass shows these disabled Black and Brown artists refusing to be abused, confined and erased.

Return to the Together! 2023 Disability Film Festival Home Page

Supported using public funding by Arts Council EnglandFilm LondonCommunity Fund