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Rain Man is an American drama movie produced in 1988. It narrates the tale of two brothers, one a selfish, abrasive young man (Charlie Babbitt), and the other an autistic savant (Raymond Babbitt). As the tagline states, it is “a journey through understanding and fellowship” (Internet Movie Database, 2015). Charlie is in the middle of a financial crisis and finds out that his father has died and handed down the multimillion-dollar family estate to his other son. He is only left with his late father’s car and rose bushes. He investigates where the money is directed and discovers it is sent to a mental institution where his brother (whom he never knew) lives. Charlie wants to get control of the money by attempting to become his brother’s legal guardian. They commence on a long trip back to Los Angeles by road and on the way they discover they actually enjoy each other’s company. By the end of the movie, it is evident that Charlie has changed his attitude towards life and love, in general.
The main theme expressed by the movie is that people can change to accept the disabled in our society. It also shows that the disabled possess rare abilities, apart from the shortcomings that other people impose on them. For instance, Charlie discovers that Raymond is an autistic savant; he has an excellent memory and amazing mathematical capabilities. The movie is about change. Unlike his elder brother, Raymond, who remains the same throughout the movie, Charlie transforms from the self-centered young man to one who loves those close to him and sees things from their perspective. The plot shows that the problem lies not in the disabled but the society. The movie is very similar to the article Confronting Ableism by Thomas Hehir. He claims that changing our attitude and approach in dealing with the handicapped is the solution to end stigmatization. Potok (2002) is of the same idea. We need to change how we label people with disabilities and accept
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