My Left Foot (1989)
- Summaries (4)
Christy Brown, born with cerebral palsy, learns to paint and write with his only controllable limb - his left foot.
Christy Brown is born with cerebral palsy to a large, poor Irish family. His mother, Mrs. Brown, recognizes the intelligence and humanity in the lad everyone else regards as a vegetable. Eventually, Christy matures into a cantankerous artist who uses his dexterous left foot to write and paint.
The life of Dublin born and bred Christy Brown (1932-1981) is presented, he who overcame the odds, afflicted with muscle debilitating cerebral palsy (CP) since birth which required around the clock care when he was a child, to become a successful painter and author. He grew up in a working class family, one of thirteen siblings surviving infancy, with the siblings needing to share rooms with four or five to a bed. His mother in particular did whatever she could to make sure Christy was loved and supported. Because of his inability to speak when he was a child, he was largely seen as mentally slow, he who surprised everyone by demonstrating his mental acuity in absorbing everything that was happening around him. Without the use of his hands, he used his left foot to express himself by painting, the paint brush grasped between his big and second toe. He began to be able to express himself more fully when he was taught to speak more clearly by therapist Dr. Eileen Cole. But as he gained greater independence in his life, his mother began to worry more and more about him, not in he overcoming those physical disabilities associated with the CP, but having his hopes dashed by others who may have not seen him as a man with human emotions, including the capability and want to love.
In this true story told through flashbacks, Christy Brown is born with crippling cerebral palsy into a poor, working-class Irish family. Able only to control movement in his left foot and to speak in guttural sounds, he is mistakenly believed to be intellectually disabled for the first ten years of his life. Later, through the help of his strong-willed mother, a dedicated teacher, and his own courage and determination, Christy not only learns to grapple with life's simple physical tasks and complex psychological pains, but he also develops into a brilliant painter, poet and author.
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