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I Didn’t See You There (dir. Reid Davenport, 2022, 76 min)

As a visibly disabled person, filmmaker Reid Davenport sets out to make a film about how he sees the world, from either his wheelchair or his two feet, without having to be seen himself. The unexpected arrival of a circus tent outside his apartment in Oakland, CA leads him to consider the history and legacy of P.T. Barnum’s Freak Show and its lingering presence in his daily life in the form of gawking, lack of access, and other forms of ableism. Informed by his position in space, lower to the ground, Davenport captures indelible images, often abstracted into shapes and patterns separate from their meaning. Personal and unflinching, I Didn’t See You There forces the viewer to confront the spectacle and invisibility of disability. This opening screening celebrates our 2nd annual collaboration with ReelAbilities Film Festival, the largest festival in the US dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with disabilities.

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