eastman-house.jpg  Every Wednesday in September and October the series Our Flesh and Blood presents features and documentaries about living with challenges ROCHESTER, N.Y. - The Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House presents every Wednesday in September and October a series of films and documentaries that focus on persons with disabilities, titled Our Flesh and Blood. "Each of these films demonstrates the power of cinema to connect us with those who seem different, but, which in the end, remind us that all of us, disabled or not, share the same aspirations for life," said Jim Healy, Eastman House's assistant curator of motion pictures. "We are all flesh and blood."  With few exceptions, the lives of persons with severe disabilities are not frequently explored in popular commercial cinema. Such films, however, can be inspiring and enriching experiences, at least if the filmmakers are successful in depicting the worlds of the disabled in ways that uplift or challenge our preconceptions-like the features and documentaries selected for this series. Most of the nine films featured in this series focus on persons with developmental disabilities; however, the other films in the series are reminders us that any one of us may be thrust into the world of disabilities through accident or disease. "What is compelling about these films are the manifold ways in which those with disabilities experience life, and challenge both the limits of their impairments and those imposed by society, including science," Healy said. Living with muscular dystrophy, the hero of the film Rory O'Shea Was Here refuses to accept dehumanizing institutionalization, and constantly battles to gain independence for himself and his best friend, who has cerebral palsy. The title characters in Tod Browning's Freaks may surprise you with their strict moral code and capacity for retribution. Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist depicts how Flanagan found a way to live with his cystic fibrosis by pushing his body to extreme limits of pain. Jean-Dominique Bauby, who can be seen in the short documentary Locked-in Syndrome and who is portrayed by Mathieu Almaric in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, wrote his memoir despite the fact that his ability to communicate was restricted to blinking his eyes. Often, the unsung heroes of these stories are the caregivers. My Flesh and Blood's Susan Tom, the adoptive mother of 11 special-needs children, reveals her bottomless capacity for love and support. A man fights for his brother in So Much So Fast, and parents fight for their son in Lorenzo's Oil, in each case searching for ways to defy the odds and halt the progressive debilitation of a family member's rare disease. In the controversial documentary The Horse Boy, the parents of an autistic child travel to the other side of the world in search of a way to heal their son. The films of Our Flesh and Blood All films take place on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Dryden admission is $7 general admission/$5 students and members (free admission to Sept. 30 screening). Full descriptions are online at dryden.eastmanhouse.org Sept. 2: MY FLESH AND BLOOD (Jonathan Karsh, US 2003, 83 min.) Sept. 9: RORY O'SHEA WAS HERE (Damien O'Donnell, Ireland 2004, 104 min.) Sept. 16: SO MUCH SO FAST (Steven Ascher & Jeanne Jordan, US 2006, 87 min.) Sept. 23: Double Feature/Two films for one admission price 8 p.m. THE UNKNOWN (Tod Browning, US 1927, 49 min.) Live piano: Philip C. Carli 9 p.m. FREAKS (Tod Browning, US 1932, 64 min.) Sept. 30: HOW'S YOUR NEWS? (Arthur Bradford, US 1999, 82 min.) Free admission to this screening. Oct. 7: SICK: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BOB FLANAGAN, SUPERMASOCHIST (Kirby Dick, US 1997, 89 min.) No one under 18 admitted. Oct. 14: Double Feature/Two films for one admission price 7:30 p.m. LOCKED-IN SYNDROME (Jean-Jacques Beineix, France 1997, 27 min., French/subtitles) 8 p.m. THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY (Julian Schnabel, France 2007, 112 min., French/subtitles) Oct. 21: LORENZO'S OIL (George Miller, US 1992, 135 min.) Oct. 28: Rochester Premiere of THE HORSE BOY (Rupert Isaacson & Michael Orion Scott, US 2009, 93 min.) This series is co-presented by George Eastman House, the Ithaca College School of Health Sciences and Human Performance, and Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities-Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong. Organizations providing additional support include Al Sigl Community of Agencies; Colgate Rochester Crozier Divinity School; Heritage Christian Services; Hillside Children's Center; The Regional Center for Independent Living; and the University of Rochester School of Nursing, University Office for Faculty Development & Diversity, and Faculty Disabilities Cluster. The Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House is located at 900 East Ave, Rochester. For more information call (585) 271-3361 or visit dryden.eastmanhouse.org.             Media Contact: Dresden Engle dengle@geh.org (585) 271.3361 ext. 213