Hubbell goes on at great length about the trauma of attending school in the '60s and getting labeled "stupid" or "lazy" for an unrecognized condition; other interviewees supply their own heartfelt horror stories. Dubbing his teachers' negative evaluations of him over stock footage of Hitler and Mussolini, however, hardly brings home his point.
Hubbell's illustrated discussion of pioneers in the field of diagnosing learning disabilities proves laudably clear and concise, though every bit as dry as the preceding sections were jokey. More contemporary footage of modern educational facilities and institutions stresses their efficacy, with litanies of praise and typical "visiting the campus" visuals.
The "scientific" section understandably makes no pretense of explaining the ways dyslexic brains are wired differently, serving more as an occasion to trot out cool animated graphics of color-coded cerebral networks. Several scientists and dyslexics manage to make clear, though, that the simplistic notion of transposed letters does not begin to describe the confusing distortions produced in the dyslexic's brain when trying to read by traditional methods.
The documentary succeeds in addressing several aspects of its subject. But Eric Gardner's slapdash editing of stock footage under Michael Bacon's wah-wah music fails to amuse, while Gardner's flatly shot man-on-the-street surveys ("What do you know about dyslexia?") consistently underwhelm.
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