A multiply disabled filmmaker explores the untold power of horror cinema in shaping disability and gender identity – challenging how society sees cinematic monsters.
As a child Ariel only ever saw themselves reflected back in one of two ways: in cinematic monsters, or in inspirational films about martyrs, living and dying to teach lessons to the non-disabled folks around them. Ariel found there was agency in being monstrous. MONSTROUS ME is a project rooted firmly in Ariel’s questioning of disability representation, and laying bare the consequences of the disability representation gap.
In 2022, the US census found that roughly 1 in every 4 Americans has a disability. In that same year, 2.8 percent of characters on television had a disability, and of those, 95% were portrayed by actors without a disability.
This isn’t a movie – it’s a movement. A movement to challenge people and their preconceived notions, the ableist society that prioritizes profits over people. MONSTROUS ME is the beginning of a paradigm shift – away from what’s expedient for the few, to what’s accessible for all.