BACK WALKING FORWARD, a story about the aftermath of Traumatic Brain Injury and its life changing impact on one Jewish family from Brooklyn, New York.
Following a traffic accident, Eric, a high school senior, an accomplished athlete with ambitions to become a scientist, is suddenly bound to a wheelchair. It's a miracle that he survived. Unable to start college, all his dreams since becoming bar mitzvah come crashing down. Eric struggles to relearn basic life skills. His parents, Susan and Isaac, and his younger brother Jeffrey, must redefine happiness as they, too, search for a "new normal". Will Eric walk again? BACK WALKING FORWARD puts a much-needed human face on this major public health crisis. Eric's neurosurgeon and therapists give us the medical context. Eric's parents raise key issues of how disability impacts every aspect of family life, including the stress of financing life-long medical and therapeutic care for their son and the shock of suddenly finding themselves different from the rest of their community. But the filmmaker focuses on Eric, a lively, capricious, young Jewish man who engages and surprises the audience in this unusual story filled with laughter, determination and love.
BACK WALKING FORWARD, at 40 minutes long, allows ample time for audiences to discuss important questions which arise from the film: How can Jewish educators, clergy and community leaders make individuals with special needs feel valued? What steps must be taken to respect the needs of this different and vulnerable group in every aspect of Jewish life? How can people with disabilities and their families work together with those without disabilities to address the issues and build a sense of community?
?I really appreciated the film so much. I was struck by the family and how this ?event? changed them all forever. Also really appreciated the honest view into TBI, how it affects someone in so many ways. And the drive to walk --- well, that was all-powerful.?
--- Shelly Christensen, Co-founder, Jewish Disability Awareness Month; Inclusion Innovations
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