American Masters: Becoming Helen Keller


We all know her name, the legend or maybe the jokes. But Helen Keller’s story is so much bigger. Taking her from the poorhouses and segregated blind and deaf schools of her 19th century childhood, to worldwide celebrity and work as an advocate for the poor and people with disabilities around the world, this innovative film will bring Keller’s story vividly to life from her point of view and from the perspectives of those who knew her.

With hundreds of rarely-seen photographs, historic film clips, striking recreations, and a marvelous performance by actress Cherry Jones, the film will illuminate how Keller, like Eleanor Roosevelt and Rosa Parks, became one of the 20th century’s human rights pioneers. Interviews with scholars and community activists help to reveal how Americans have changed their definitions of the public good and the means to achieve it from one generation to the next. Becoming Helen Keller will show how Keller and her generation advocated without our era’s civil rights language and legislation.  The film also reveals the social obstacles Keller regularly encountered, the progressive reforms she helped achieve, and why pushing the boundaries of human rights for people with disabilities in the late 20th century required a different approach.


Tuesday, October 19, at 9pm on CET