Released on Netflix, Then Barbara Met Alan is a movie that has a very different cause and gives you a special experience. It is a docudrama and has its characteristics. To look on the bright side, we can say that it offers us both the good sides of a documentary and a drama film, which makes it enjoyable for a greater number of viewers.
Next, Barbara Met Alan tells us the story of Barbara Lisicki and Alan Holdsworth, two disabled cabaret artists who met at a concert in 1989. The two fell in love and they were destined to change the world together for life. Well. Barbara is a realist who has a practical approach to most things, and Alan is a dreamer and is also more of a guy who lets his emotions take over. The two become significant influences behind Direct Action Network, which is an organization of disability rights activists in the UK. This film shows us not the course of their life but the course of their protest around which their life revolved.
The protest was for themselves and for others who shared their destiny. The Disabled Society was one of the neglected sections of society in the UK in the 80s and 90s. These two people wanted to see a change in this behavior. Sympathy is the last thing they wanted. All they wanted was equal rights and to be treated equally and normally by society. As mentioned above, the film shows the characteristics of a documentary since it provides us with real footage of the protest and news that the news channels were covering at the time. From the story of her real life, the directors have tried to keep the film so real that from Barbara’s appearance to the manifestation, everything feels authentic.
They had actors with disabilities to play roles in the docudrama so that the audience would feel the authenticity that comes with it. The film shows the protests, the campaigns, the personal indifferences that the couple has faced over time and everything that has affected their lives by making a difference in society. Their campaigns resulted in the Disability Discrimination Act which was passed in 1995, which was a great achievement for them.
Overall, Netflix certainly did something different by bringing out Barbara and Alan’s story in such a beautiful way. The docudrama is entertainment and can keep us going for an hour and seven minutes. It’s a great watch, you can see a great movement, two incredible personalities and their history. It’s a movie to add to your watch list if you want to watch something different and insightful.
Final score – [8/10]
Reviewed by – Poornima Balsu
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