Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Filmed in 1984, Breaking Through received its widest distribution two years later. Produced by the National Insititute of Mental Retardation, this 58-minute documentary demonstrates the plusses (and a few of the minuses) of "mainstreaming." Two developmentally delayed adult men, long institutionalized, are allowed to live on their own. The period of adjustment is grueling, but both men manage to triumph thanks to help from friends, family, and medical professionals. Breaking Through is careful to note in passing that this sort of integration into "normal" society is not always effective or advisable.
adjustment, mental-retardation, society