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Shoulder the Lion

Distributed by Outcast Films, 511 6th Avenue Suite 398, New York, NY 10011; 646-512-2596
Produced by Tupelo Productions
Directed by Erinnisse Rebisz and Patryk Rebisz
DVD, color, 74 min.
General Adult
Art, Biography, Disabilities, Films, Popular Culture

Reviewed by Linda Kelly Alkana, Department of History, California State University Long Beach

Highly Recommended  Highly Recommended   
Date Entered: 12/21/2016

This is a beautifully made film about three artists—a photographer, a musician and a painter/sculptor—who have continued and adapted their work to match their changing physical abilities. Alice Wingwall continues as a photographer after becoming blind, realizing that the camera takes pictures while she, as the photographer, imagines them. Graham Sharpe becomes a lineup coordinator for a music festival in Ireland after his hearing difficulties curtail his role as a musician; and Katie Dallam pursues painting and sculpture, believing that she knows herself better than before a brain injury destroyed half her brain (she was the inspiration behind the movie, Million Dollar Baby).

With the use of light, images, movement and sound, the filmmakers imagine the realities of the sensations these artists experience. The world blurs for Alice Wingwall, sounds disturb for Graham Sharpe, and some images are incomprehensible to Katie Dallam. A strength of the film lies in the words of the artists themselves—how they understand the changes they have experienced.

Patryk Rebisz’ cinematography and use of sound are exceptional. The location shots in Paris, Ireland and Kansas add to the beauty of the film. The DVD features extras including director commentary, a behind the scenes slideshow, descriptions for blind people, and subtitles.


  • Winner, 2015 Best Cinematography, American Cinematographer, Salem Film Festival
  • Winner, 2015 Best U.S. Documentary, Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
  • Winner, Fipresci International Critics Prize, Krakow Film Festival