A Sympathetic Film Portrait Of The Mentally Retarded – 1963

Explaining The Mentally Retarded To The Masses – 1963

This 1963 educational film is strangely compelling. It is a relic of a different time when there was little or no political correctness. Put aside the terminology used, stilted narration and warbled music. The 22 minute film was done sensitively considering when it was made and the difficult subject matter it tackles. Teaching other children (and adults possibly) what it means to be retarded.

Children have always insulted one another.  For anyone of a certain age, one of the typical barbs they would say was “you are a  retard.”

They’re cruel words without realizing the full implications. I’m sure kids today are just as mean except now its called “bullying” and the name calling has gone online as well as to someone’s face. Now, a child calling another child retarded would probably get them suspended from school.

Developmentally challenged children are now classified more specifically on a spectrum and almost no one calls another person retarded.

The word retard is now considered offensive, and rarely uttered even if used in proper context i.e. “to retard progress.”

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