In conjunction with Juraatmedia we present The Waterdance (1992). A true-to-life film showcasing the epic struggle through rehabilitation, dealing with paralysis and coming to terms with spinal cord injury and wheelchair life. This somewhat dark movie written by Neal Jimenez (after he was paralyzed in a hiking accident) sheds light on a rehabilitation hospital spinal unit and three newly paralyzed central characters.
In this spinal unit people are transformed as each must adapt to their new reality. A social order develops with its own shifting loyalties and rules. The Waterdance captures the tumultuous spinal unit world and portrays it in terms that the general public can understand.
Along the way, we meet the typically diverse set of characters seen in such spinal units who have nothing in common except similar disabilities. Their similarities prove not enough and an uneasy dynamic between them develops. Author Joel Garcia (Eric Stoltz) breaks his neck while hiking, and finds himself in the spinal unit rehab center with Bloss (William Forsythe), a racist biker and Raymond Hill (Wesley Snipes), an exaggerating ladies man. Considerable tension builds as each character tries to deal with his new found disability and the problems that go with it.
We warn this movie contains coarse language, sexual references and other adult content not suitable for minors. It is rated R. 106 minutes. Enjoy!
Joel appears to adapt easily to his new found paralysis using free drugs, sunglasses and curtains dull to his senses. Internally he doesn’t know how he will cope with his life and lover Anna (Helen Hunt), who is having as difficult a time as he is. Anna is married to another man, and Joel struggles to decide whether staying with Anna, as they had planned, is the best thing for them in light of his new disability.
Biker friends of the once tough guy Bloss seem more interested in his compensation payout using a lawyer from a TV add than his well being. Bloss has a meltdown in his wheelchair that makes him realize he must face the truth surrounding his accident. Only then he begins to temper his anger and channel his frustrations in more creative ways.
After tipping their wheelchairs Raymond reveals to Bloss a dream about dancing on the surface of a lake to stay afloat, it becomes apparent that each of them must find his own Waterdance to survive his tragedy. Depressed about the separation from his wife and daughter, Raymond is discharged from hospital into a nursing home, where he attempts suicide.
The Waterdance is one of a handful of films that deals honestly and wisely with the issues of disability, spinal cord injury and life in a wheelchair. It may appear depressing at first, but it also highlights how strong people can be when faced with life’s greatest challenges.