May 20 2020
Twenty five years on from the passing of the Disability Discrimination Act, BBC Two has commissioned Dragonfly Film and TV and One Shoe Films to produce a new factual drama Independence Day? How Disabled Rights Were Won (w/t) based on the remarkable true story of the people behind an irrepressible campaign of direct-action that lead to the winning of disabled civil rights in Britain.
Written by multiple Bafta winner Jack Thorne and award-winning actor-turned writer Genevieve Barr, the film enters the story through the eyes of Barbara Lisicki and Alan Holdsworth (main image), two disabled cabaret performers who met at a gig in 1989. They fell in love, had a baby and would go on to become the driving force behind DAN - the Direct Action Network.
Their incendiary 'Piss on Pity' protest slogan brought an end to disenfranchising charity events and re-framed the debate around disability rights. Their post-punk sense of humour and spontaneous pickets shut down cinemas, restaurants, stations and even the London underground. And their fearless and coordinated attempts to handcuff their wheelchairs to buses brought Westminster to a standstill until their rights were enshrined into law.
Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two, says: “The story of Barbara Lisicki and Alan Holdsworth’s Direct Action Network is a vital piece of modern history and I am so delighted to announce this factual drama about their campaign. To have writers of the calibre of Jack Thorne and Genevieve Barr is brilliant. This film builds on the recent successes in the genre like Doing Money, Responsible Child and The Windermere Children, making BBC Two a home to these most essential factual stories explored through drama.”