MIFF, ReelAbilites partner for August First Tuesday

'When Billy Broke His Head..."

‘When Billy Broke His Head…”

The Midwest Independent
Film Festival presents
‘When Billy Broke his Head…
and Other Tales of Wonder’
Tuesday August 6
at Landmark

The Midwest Independent Film Festival is proud to partner with ReelAbilities Chicago to present the 25th anniversary screening of When Billy Broke His Head… And Other Tales of Wonder, on August 6, 2019. The film is a 1995 classic disability rights film by local editor-director David E. Simpson.

When Billy Broke His Headis an entertaining, irreverent road movie about disability, civil rights, and the search for intelligent life after brain damage. Following a traffic-accident, journalist Billy Golfus woke from a coma to find himself head-injured, hemiplegic and dependent on others. The film tells of Golfus’ struggle to make a new life for himself in the face of pervasive discrimination and bureaucratic “helping systems.”

Accompanied by filmmaker David E. Simpson, Golfus travels the country encountering disabled people of all stripes, and witnessing the strength and anger that has forged a civil rights movement for disabled Americans. Laced with humor and biting wit, When Billy Broke His Head is a widely acclaimed, groundbreaking film about disability culture; a no holds barred, first-person account that refuses to tell the “inspirational” stories we have come to expect from films about people with disabilities.



At the time of its release, the New York Post called it, “a thought-provoking, refreshingly acerbic look at America’s largest minority,” while Variety declared it “an irreverently insightful film about a ‘serious’ subject many people find depressing.” Sundance awarded the film the Freedom of Expression Award.

The film is open captioned and an ASL interpreter will be available throughout the evening.

Simpson is a highly-awarded filmmaker who brings to his projects a collaborative spirit, proven storytelling chops and formidable attention to detail. Films he has produced, directed or edited have garnered two Emmys, two DuPont-Columbia batons, a pair of Peabody awards, an Oscar nomination, a Sundance jury prize and best in category at countless festivals. He has worked in close association with Kartemquin Films since 1997.

The evening will open at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception on the top floor of the Landmark Century Cinema space (2828 N. Clark St.), followed by a special discussion with Kwame Amoaku, the newly appointed Director of the Chicago Film Office, in conversation with MIFF Executive Director, Amy Guth, to discuss the new role and his vision for the Chicago Film Office.

A Q&A session with the filmmakers will immediately follow the 7:30 p.m. film screening, followed by an informal afterparty.

The Midwest Independent Film Festival is the nation’s only film festival solely dedicated to the Midwest filmmaker, presenting audiences with regionally produced independent cinema every first Tuesday of the month at Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema, 2828 North Clark in Chicago.

Please visit midwestfilm.com for more information and to reserve tickets.

Send your screening notices to Reel Chicago Editor Dan Patton, dan@reelchicago.com.