Still Julianne

Projecting Dementia on the Silvering Screen

Authored by: Sally Chivers

The Routledge Companion to Disability and Media

Print publication date:  November  2019
Online publication date:  October  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138884588
eBook ISBN: 9781315716008
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter examines the intersection between aging and disability in recent cinematic depictions of dementia, with Still Alice (2014) as a central focus. A recent increase in the number of mainstream movies that feature an older character as central has led to portrayals that promote ableist cultural fears about contemporary aging. In such films, dementia functions as a sort of bogeyman, exaggerating everything people are taught to fear about growing old. A disability perspective offers a way to think about the harm caused by such depictions, what they reveal about contemporary thought and what film depictions of dementia could accomplish.

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