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photo Multiple
By Lucinda Broadbent and Alison Peebles

For six years, actor and director Alison Peebles has been keeping a secret: she has multiple sclerosis. MS is an unpredictable but progressive disease of the brain and nervous system which is affecting her speech, mobility, and eyesight. Having watched her father die of the disease, she has even hidden the diagnosis from her mother and sister. Now, in the midst of working on the Scottish detective series, Taggart (carried by PBS), Alison finds that she can no longer hide her symptoms, and she’s afraid that the revelation may destroy her career — will directors accept an actor with a limp, will the producer’s insurance company continue to cover her? She also finds herself coping with the gradual erosion of some of the things that have made up her identity: she'll have to kiss goodbye to her sexy, high-heeled shoes.

Enlivened by Alison’s mordant wit and by imaginative animation sequences based on her own sketches, this is a compelling portrait of a brave woman facing her uncertain future with humor and determination. “I believe very strongly that I should be allowed to work and live in this world as a person with a disability,” she says. “I don’t want to be seen as someone with MS. I want to be seen as Alison Peebles, who acts, directs...and sometimes falls over.”

29 minutes
© 2006
Purchase $229 DVD
Order No. QA-461
ISBN (DVD) 1-57295-863-4
close captioned

Reviews
The film is not maudlin or sentimental. It tackles the themes of keeping secrets, and society’s reaction to disability, but focusing on a personal story in an engaging way. Multiple has a strong thread of humor running through it without being flippant. I thoroughly recommend it. Inclusion Scotland

Inspiring and moving...a powerful journey of discovery...will help people understand the varied and unpredictable nature of MS. MS Society of the United Kingdom

We see not an MS victim, but a beautiful, strong vibrant woman facing up to an uncertain future. The Daily Mail

Awards & Conference Screenings
Festival de Cine de Huesca, Spain
Abilities Arts Festival, Toronto
Picture This Film Festival, Calgary
MS Life, Manchester, United Kingdom
Merit Award, Intercom 2007
AbilityFest, India
Western Psychological Association
WorldFest Houston Film Festival,
Silver Remi Award
Superfest International Disability Film Festival,
Achievement Award
American Psychological Association
Moscow Disability Film Festival

Related Films
Able to Laugh: An amusing and informative glimpse into the world of disability, as interpreted by six professional comics who have a variety of disabilities.

Phoenix Dance: Renowned dancer Homer Avila lost his right leg and most of his hip to cancer. Following the creation of a pas de deux choreographed by Alonzo King, Phoenix Dance takes us on a journey of transformation and healing, challenging our expectations of what it means to be "disabled."

Vital Signs: An edgy, raw documentary exploring the politics of disability through performances at a national conference on disability and the arts. Open-Captioned. Contains strong language and nudity.

We Are PHAMALy: Follows cast members of a musical theater group for people with sensory and mobility disabilities, from auditions to their remarkable opening night performance of Once Upon a Mattress.


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