Still from The D Word: Understanding Dyslexia
The D Word: Understanding Dyslexia
Sundance Film Festival
Director: James Redford
In a time when it appears children are immediately prescribed medication at the first sign of a learning disability, director James Redford focuses his camera on the myths and facts revolving around dyslexia in this enlightening documentary. False interpretations of dyslexia (i.e. the condition forces people to see words in reverse) are eliminated as Redford examines multiple subjects including Dylan, a college-bound teenager who recounts the struggles he endured as a child. Redford also centers his film on prosperous individuals like Richard Branson and Charles Schwab who have overcome the condition to become true success stories, proving to younger generations that hope lies ahead. At points, Redford solely focuses on how these affluent individuals see dyslexia as a “blessing” with their innovative ways of thinking, but it’s hard to fully support this belief since the condition has caused so much heartache and anxiety for those who weren’t so fortunate in life. While some may scoff at the 51-minute running time (at least it’s a sign further material is desired), Redford succeeds in altering the majority’s perception of dyslexia with charming interviews, cutesy animated sequences and a light-hearted look at how the customary methods of educating children may need to be reexamined.