CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Hildebrand Productions, 1989. VHS cassette, 24:00 min, $300.00
Distributed by Visual Education Centre, 75 Horner Ave., Unit 1, Toronto, Ontario M3Z 4X5.

Reviewed by Carol Carver.

Volume 19 Number 3
1991 May

Infectious music and a black T-shirt emblazoned with "Norman" introduce the tenacious main character in this documentary about a young man with Down's syndrome. Twenty-five-year-old "mentally handicapped" (the term referred to in the video) Norman wants only to be thought of as normal. He talks directly to the camera, using surprisingly sophisticated vocabulary, about facets of his life - living inde­pendently, responding to the teasing, encouraging others like himself. Nor­man is shown participating in daily tasks: ushering at church, cooking in his apartment, working at his lumberyard job. A number of adults - his parents, professional care workers, parents of other developmentally delayed chil­dren, and employers of the handicapped - stress the importance of focusing on abilities, not disabilities.

Norman succeeds in its sympathetic portrayal of this determined young man; the viewer sees beyond Norman's external appearance to his courage. White subtitles during Norman's close-ups are an asset because his speech is not always clear; however, the words are sometimes illegible when on a light background. Occasionally, the flesh tones are garish.

Recommended for parents and professionals working with the disa­bled. It could be used at the high school level but, at $300.00, is pricey unless fulfilling a specific need.

Carol Carver, Dieppe Elementary School,Winnipeg, Man.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works