When graduate student Samantha Sussman attended the national American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s conference in August 2010, she attended a screening of the film Aphasia and was so moved by it that she wanted to share it with the Emerson community.
“I brought the idea back to my peers,” said Sussman, a Communication Disorders student who also sits on the Graduate Student board. “I connected with Elizabeth Keyser and Emily Heckman from the Health Communication program, and from there we began the planning.”
Eight months later, the plan has come to fruition. Aphasia will be screened Thursday, April 21, in the Bill Bordy Theater.
Aphasia is a narrative short film that stars Carl McIntyre, who actually suffered a massive stroke in September 2005. He was unable to speak, read, write, and talk. The film takes viewers from the poignant moment when McIntyre endured the stroke through his recovery process. In the trailer, McIntyre reiterates the phrase “A year and a half,” which was the recommended timeframe that experts gave him to become completely rehabilitated. With his determination and will, McIntyre began making significant improvements earlier in the process. “Hope’s got to live longer than a year and a half,” McIntyre concluded at the end of the movie’s trailer.
Since its debut in 2010, Aphasia has been screened throughout the United States, Canada, and Germany. It has also been named the official selection for five international film festivals, and winner of the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival.
Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder that impairs one’s ability to process language without affecting intelligence. According to the National Aphasia Association, 1 million Americans, or 1 in 250 people, are affected by the disorder each year. While it is most common in older people, aphasia can also occur in people of all ages, races, and genders.
Aphasia will screen at 8:00 pm in the Bill Bordy Theater, Thursday, April 21, with a Q&A session with Carl McIntyre to follow. All students, faculty, staff, and alumni are welcome, though an RSVP is required by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Seats are limited.