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Hidden Abilities

Director Jessie Nelson exposes audiences to the problems of mentally challenged parents in "I Am Sam."

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/arts/article/hidden_abilities_20011228

When filmmaker Jessie Nelson was growing up in North Hollywood in the 1950s, she was frightened of the mentally disabled. "I had the fear a lot of children have when they are not exposed to people with disabilities," says Nelson, whose wrenching new film, "I Am Sam," tells of an intellectually disabled father (Sean Penn) struggling to keep custody of his daughter.

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