Sanctuary is a new Irish film that has already changed history
Movies can have big impacts on people's lives, but not many films can say they've actually changed the law.
Enter Irish film Sanctuary, about a couple who want to be together but face huge obstacles. The film's protagonists, Larry and Sophie, have Down Syndrome and severe epilepsy, respectively. (The film's entire cast is made up of actors with mental disabilities.) And since they both have mental disabilities, under Irish law, they're not allowed to have sex unless they're married — at least that was the case when this fictional film was shot a few years ago.
On Feb. 14, that law was changed thanks to the work of Inclusion Ireland and other lobbyists. The film was cited as one of the reasons behind that decision.
"When you look at Sanctuary, it's the first time that it's a story told about them, by them," director Len Collin says, of representing mental disabilities in film. Colin adds that the film industry is still far from breaking through with stories that reflect people and actors with disabilities, but that "it always takes someone to make the first film, and maybe this is the first film that's going to crossover to the mainstream."
— Produced by Jean Kim