Out on a Limb

Out on a Limb (2013) has a run time of 61 minutes. This film will screen at Cinema Touching Disability Saturday, October 14, 2017. Audio description by VSA Texas. ASL interpretation provided by Communication by Hand.

Just added: Bid on a custom Cinema Touching Disability 2017 guitar, hand-crafted by local luthiers, Delaney Guitars!

Just added: A panel of local athletes who use prosthetics, prosthetics makers, and others in the field will discuss the film and take audience questions. Panelist Glori Das, president and founder of e-NABLE UT, will also be on-hand before the program to show how they use 3D printers to build free, custom prosthetics for children!

Against a deep blue background, a spindly robotic hand grips a human hand.Daria Price’s documentary Out on a Limb explores the science behind prosthetic limbs and the stories of the people who use them. The film takes us into the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, as well as into the homes of people with limb loss and the Amputee Coalition’s summer camp for kids.

On the technical side, the film delves into the exciting advances in the interdisciplinary field of prosthetics research. Neuroscientists, engineers, and roboticists all come together to try and create prosthetic limbs that are lighter, faster, and more dexterous than ever before. This is in part due to the Revolutionizing Prosthetics program, launched by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which called on scientists to develop better upper-limb prosthetic options in order to help US service members with arm loss.

Although service members returning from war have been the motivation behind each new push in the history of prosthetics research, veterans actually do not make up the majority of amputees in America. Out on a Limb introduces us to several civilians that use prosthetic limbs, and the film reminds us that the number of people who lose limbs as complications of diabetes and other medical conditions is high and that it is expected to grow.

For example, Van Phillips, one of the civilian amputees we meet in the movie, lost his leg in a boating accident. Unhappy with the way his prosthetic leg fit, he decided to attend Northwestern University Medical School’s Prosthetic-Orthotic Center so he could learn how to improve it himself. He did that and more, going on to design the first ever carbon fiber flex-foot, variations of which are now used by 90% of amputee Paralympic runners.

Seamlessly blending the technical with the personal, Out on a Limb captures the experience of using today’s most advanced artificial limbs and glimpses the exciting possibilities in the future of prosthetics.

View the trailer below.

Further reading


The 2017 film lineup:

My Bionic Pet Out on a Limb

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