Her story argues against the prevailing notion that handicapped children cannot have meaningful lives.
Review of TV movie Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues. Castle Comb Productions and Twentieth Century—Fox Television; airing over independent television during April and May.
There Are Two Things,” contended Orson Welles, “that the movies will never be able to show. A man making love to his wife, and a man praying to his God.”
It is not that they haven’t tried. Though Welles’s statement is surely accurate, it is incomplete. Even goodness, in general, does not translate well to the screen. Too often, in dramatic jargon, it simply “doesn’t play.” Hence, the ceaseless parade of cavorting heavies and assorted maniacs, accompanied by the din of guns and the falling of bodies, with the patter of banality always in the background, like Muzak.
Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues succeeds in portraying two aspects of goodness—romantic love and personal sacrifice—over which many filmmakers have fallen on their faces. It is a clean, visually interesting production, with strong characters and performances, especially from Blythe Danner and Mare Winningham, the former as Anne Sullivan, the latter as Keller. It is certainly well worth viewing above normal television fare. (Readers should check local listings for date and channel.)
Born in 1880, Keller was blind, deaf, and mute from an early age. Her case seemed hopeless until the advent of Anne Sullivan, known to Helen simply as “teacher.” The daughter of Irish immigrants who abandoned her, Sullivan grew up in wretched poverty and had her own bouts with blindness. Her dedication to Keller was truly remarkable, her patience endless. Anne became the major force in Keller’s life—a savior—often ...1
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