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Trashing Pumpkin

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Chicago Reader editorial staff and Jonathan Rosenbaum,

I found the film review for Pumpkin in the July 26 issue of the Reader atrocious. Rosenbaum gives a digest version of the plot but never explains why he gives the film three stars. The last sentence of the article is the only value judgment in the whole piece, which purports that the impossible forces us to confront the possible. What does that mean, and what does it have to do with the film? Don't you think that this movie would have been more challenging if it dealt with real issues that disabled people deal with, rather than petty vacillations of sorority girls?

Why don't you face the facts that the movie was just a bundle of cliches? Everything about it was petty, superficial, and undeveloped. A really interesting film could be made about transgressing the boundary that exists between disabled people and so-called "normals." Instead, Pumpkin deals with these relationships in a predictable, pithy manner. According to the movie, what is good about Pumpkin the character is his ability to imitate "normal" people by taking a taxicab, winning a fistfight, looking dapper in a tuxedo, performing athletically. The writers of this movie had the opportunity to deal with disabled people as they really are, but instead chose to make them slow-speaking, slightly clumsy versions of everyone else. Not only is it bad moviemaking, it's bad sociology.

Please take care before distributing those little stars. We rarely believe in them these days anyway.

Nathan Peterson

Ukrainian Village

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