Southern Circuit: Code of the Freaks

February 21, 2021 -

Produced by: South Arts
Event Category: Southern Circuit Virtual + In-Person

As part of the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, the Tropic is presenting a hybrid virtual and in-person screening of “Code of the Freaks,” including a scheduled in-person visit from director/producer Salome Chasnoff! The film will be available via our virtual cinema from February 21-24, 2021, with the in-person screening and filmmaker appearance TBD.

Using hundreds of clips spanning over 100 years of moviemaking, and a cast of disabled artists, scholars and activists, “Code of the Freaks” presents a radical reframing of the use of disabled characters in film. This revelatory documentary investigates the power of movie imagery to shape the beliefs and behaviors of the general public toward disabled people, and of disabled people toward themselves. Drawing its title from a line from Tod Browning’s notorious 1932 film “Freaks,” “Code of the Freaks” debunks well-worn tropes – the miracle cure, the blind guy driving a car, the magical little people, the face-feelers, the sexless, the better off dead – and brings an entirely fresh perspective. It dares to imagine a cinematic landscape that centers the voices of disabled people.

Southern Circuit screenings are funded in part by a grant from South Arts, a regional arts organization, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information about Southern Circuit and South Arts please visit

Tropic Cinema’s Southern Circuit series is funded by Michael and Linda Mewshaw.

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