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Baltimore artist Dan Keplinger is the focus of this documentary short which first appeared on HBO. In 1985, when Keplinger was 12 years old, filmmakers Susan Hadary and Bill Whiteford began recording his life and periodically checked in on him over the next 13 years. Afflicted from birth with cerebral palsy, Keplinger was six years old when his parents divorced; his father wanted his son institutionalized, but his mother, Linda Ritter, insisted on raising him to lead as normal a life as possible. At 12, Keplinger was sent to a school for youngsters with disabilities but two years later, after a close friend died, he and his mother decided that a mainstream education was best for him. He had already begun painting by using a brush attached to a head brace. Laura Moore, a young student, befriended him and helped to tutor him, and his work began to appear in shows. During his senior year in high school, he moved into his own apartment, determined to be as independent as possible. Keplinger was accepted into the art program at Towson State University, outside of Baltimore. There, he met some resistance from several faculty members in the art department, but Stuart Stein, an artist who was also a teacher at the university, took Keplinger under his wing, and Keplinger graduated, even managing to complete his sculpture requirement with the help of a computer. King Gimp won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject at the ceremony honoring 1999 releases.
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Audience Reviews for King Gimp
I had to watch this for my diversity (sociology) class. This young man lived in Baltimore so that made it exceptionally interesting but it would have been a good movie no matter where it was filmed. The only problem I had was with his speech. It was extremely difficult to understand & I wish they had used subitiles. Otherwise, it was a very positive movie about dealing with a serious handicap.