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Unforgotten: Twenty-five Years After Willowbrook

Rating:No Rating
Genre:Documentary
Release Date:October 1, 1996
Running time:57 minutes
Cast:Danny Aiello, Geraldo Rivera
Director:Jack Fisher
Producer:Danny Fisher
Writer:Stuart Warmflash
Distributor:City Lights Pictures

Description: It was a nightmare that shocked not only New York, but all of America. The public outcry about the Willowbrook School (on Staten Island) for people with developmental disabilities resulted from Geraldo Rivera's award-winning series on WABC-TV in 1972. Viewers were stunned by coverage of residents with mental retardation and developmental disabilities sprawled naked on feces covered floors, being forced to eat their meals in two to three minutes, living and breathing filth. Willowbrook's idea of a shower was to gather 60 residents in a tiled room and hose them down. The public's outrage was so intense, that by 1975, a Federal Court ordered that institutional care be phased out and replaced with community based settings. The mentally retarded would no longer be shuffled off into lunatic asylums. Instead, they would be given every opportunity to lead as constructive a life as possible.

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