When a circus tent is put up outside his apartment, filmmaker Reid Davenport, a wheelchair user, reflects on the corrosive legacy of the “freak show” and the paradoxical spectacle and invisibility of disability.
As a person with a disability navigating the world from a wheelchair, filmmaker Reid Davenport is often either the subject of unwanted gaze — gawked at by strangers — or paradoxically rendered invisible, ignored, or dismissed by society. The arrival of a circus tent just outside his apartment prompts him to consider the history and legacy of the “freak show”, in which individuals who were deemed atypical were put on display for the amusement of a paying public. Contemplating how this relates to his own filmmaking practice, which explicitly foregrounds experiences ofdisability, Davenport sets out to make a film about how he sees the world without having to be seen himself. I Didn’t See You There is personal, political, and unflinching – offering a perspective and stylistic approach rarely seen in film, capturing indelible images informed by his disability. Continue