DAY ON WHEELS
Director: Ari Selinger
USA 2007 Run time: 13 min
Plot synopsis, because everyone loves them…..Based on Cheryl A. Davis's short memoir about her life as a paraplegic, 'Day on Wheels' follows Chet Davies, a 30 something paraplegic who hates dealing with incompetent jerks who rudely confront him about his disability. During the course of two days, the audience sees how poorly Chet is treated and his struggle to cope with such situations. When a fellow paraplegic named Nick shows Chet that all he has to do is to tell people to 'piss off', Chet begins to use this new strategy. After several tests, the new and improved Chet becomes even more assertive and aggressive to the point where he gets himself in trouble by accidentally telling off a blind woman.
DIRECTOR: Ari Selinger
WRITER: Ari Selinger
CAST: David Harris, David Ressel, Harrison Davies, John Haggerty, Kate Kuen, Kyle Argenbrite, Marlise Garde
PRODUCER: Ari Selinger
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Rogier van Beeck Calkoen
I thought of Day on Wheels as The Day Chet Became a Bitch on Wheels. Don’t we all have days like that?? At least -- don’t we all have days where we really, really want to just let it fly like he does? We get so tired of being judged by others based on a singular external quality. People take one look at us, make a quick decision, sum us up, and don’t bother to go any further. There is so much to feel in this film.
Chet calls the film we see his “true life sitcom.”
What bothers Chet most is how the average person analyzes him with a single glance that says “thank God I’m not him”.
“Thank God I’m not him….” There’s a man in a wheelchair living in my building and I don’t think I’ve ever had that thought about him. It’s because of the attitude he projects. I guarantee he’s a happier person than 70% of the people in our building. Many people know him. A lot of folks talk to him, I would imagine far more than talk to me. I see him hanging out in the cigar bar across the street, and down in our internet café. He puts it out there.
Ironically, what Chet does at the end of this film is exactly the same as what everyone else does to him, and nearly misses a vital connection as a result…a connection with someone who can truly understand him and empathize with him.
Isn’t a lot of what Selinger’s message is that you have to find your own healthy balance between taking everyone’s judgmental shit and absurdly, over sensitively telling everyone to fuck off and driving the good ones away? This is useful no matter who you are or where you live….
I’m more inclined to think “Thank God I’m not him” about litigation attorneys, actually….