Last night at the Denver International Film Festival I learned that “midget” is the equivalent of the “N” word for dwarfs or little people. I also learned that dwarfism is a genetic mutation and that sometimes normal-sized people ask a dwarf if they can pick him or her up. The movie was a work in progress titled “No Bigger than a Minute,” directed by and starring Steven Delano, who has worked for more than 25 years in film-related jobs here in Denver. The film and the Q&A afterward with Steven offered the chance to see the world from a completely different perspective, literally. This is Difference with a capital D. The movie itself is a wonder of images, interviews with other dwarfs, and Steven’s own thoughts on what he learns as he makes the movie, all benefiting from his skills as an editor and director. The music is a translation of his DNA, the genes which determined his size. Another filmmaker, Werner Herzog, whose work often features dwarfs, says in the film that dwarfs possess a “radical human dignity.” No kidding.
Over and over, the films of the Festival have portrayed radical human dignity in settings way outside the comfort zone of most viewers, including me.