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The Sessions (originally titled The Surrogate)

The Sessions (originally titled The Surrogate)

is a 2012 American independent drama film written and directed by Ben Lewin.

Mark O’Brien spent the majority of his life confined to a bed after contracting polio as a young child.  It was, however, one challenge in particular that led to ‘The Sessions’ starring John Hawkes and Helen Hunt,  Inspired by O’Brien’s article, ‘On Seeing a Sex Surrogate’, , the film documents his experience with a sex surrogate (Hunt) as he discovers sexuality within the confines of his disability. The premise alone shines light on the sexual challenges faced by the disabled, and see effort and patience required to overcome them. O’Brien begins his journey as a self- conscious bundle of nerves, but his wit and intelligence quickly begin to shine through.  In the end, Hunt’s character has a lasting positive impact on Mark’s life.  The movie and the people on which it was based paint an inspirational picture of courage and determination.  From the starring roles to supporting actors, the film is wonderfully cast.  Overall, O’Brien’s experience is shared in such a way that the viewer grows to care for and admire him, empathizing with Mark rather than pitying him; finding the humour in his challenges that Mark himself displays.  It’s easy for people to fear, judge and dismiss that which they don’t understand and it’s movies like this that help bridge the gap between the average person and the fragile members of society that exist outside the box.

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