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With ‘Holding Moses’, Rivkah Beth Medow is bringing queer and disabled cinema forward

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Holding Moses was shortlisted for Best Documentary Short Film at the 95th Academy Awards. Though this may be her most recent lauded film, this isn’t her first time working to tell these underrepresented communities’ stories.Holding Moses follows dancer and former Broadway performer Randi Rader as she recounts her experience raising her middle child and only son, Moses.

Moses was born with Phelan-McDermid Syndrome, an extremely rare condition stemming from chromosomal issues that causes various physical and developmental complications.A post shared by Rivkah Beth Medow (@sweetdelight_or_endlessnight)Rader brutally explains her emotional experience with becoming Moses’ mother and caretaker, accompanied by stories of her own past with movement and intimate video of the family interacting.

Rader’s visibly masculine appearance and queerness add another dimension to this story of a single mother facing a situation she never anticipated and all of the raw, often shocking feelings that it can entail.“There’s a tone of hope and belief that Randi will come through this,” Medow told KQED of the film. “We wanted to make this film as beautiful as possible, as we believe in beauty as a way to crack open people to receive information that they might not necessarily accept or be interested in if it weren’t so visually appealing.

It’s a strategy.”A post shared by Rivkah Beth Medow (@sweetdelight_or_endlessnight)Medow also acknowledges the importance of continuing to reach out to the underrepresented communities being spoken to with her work.“We understand there’s a complicated legacy around valuing disabled bodies and this film is interested in joining conversations about how we resource parents better so that maybe it doesn’t feel so.

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