A new Australian documentary, Defiant Lives, traces the history of disability rights at home and abroad, with the aim of challenging the movement’s erasure

“When you talk about disability rights with people, they just look at you like they didn’t think such a thing existed,” says Dr George Taleporos. “People don’t like talking about, hearing or watching disability. It’s not as sexy as gay rights or climate change. It’s just not.”

Taleporos is a disability rights activist, and a wheelchair user. He appeared in the first season of ABC TV’s You Can’t Ask Me That and now in the feature film documentary Defiant Lives. Director Sarah Barton tells a largely untold story, charting the history of the disability rights movement in Australia, the US and the UK. “As someone with a disability, it’s really novel to see a film about your people,” Taleporos says.

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