a film by Michael Akers
2012 | 87 mins | US
›› Morgan
a sweet 'n' tender take on going for the paraplegic gold of life.
Morgan by Michael Akers
Adapted Synopsis:-

Newly paraplegic Morgan Oliver just wants his life to be like it was before a cycling accident cut short his athletic hopes and dreams.

Only when a chance "basketball court" encounter with soon to be lover boy Dean Kagen, results with Morgan opting to enter as a wheelchair competitor, the same bike race that took away his ability to walk, is he prepared to risk the affection of his one true love, for sporting glory?
Morgan by Michael Akers
Dave Says:-

Gay films with a disability theme to them are few and far between, all of which makes this emotional work from co-writer and director Michael Akers of Gone, But Not Forgotten fame, an all the more noteworthy entry in the annals of rainbow coloured cinema.

Only at its core, this is a good old fashioned love story, complete with all of the relationship ups and downs that you would expect to find in a work of the romantic genre. Sure, there are some negatives in the mix, as the seemingly inherent indie battles with fading light and a tight shooting schedule are reflected in a feature that walks, if not at times slips on the fine line between melodrama and telemovie styled sentimentality. But that said, Akers alongside co-writer Sandon Berg has not shied away from depicting the difficulty a physical impairment can have in getting your - how you say, equipment to work, let alone the downward spiral of depression that all too often can be found going unchecked behind closed doors.

Yet in a feature with many a narrative angle, including some quite lush first date, first kiss sequences, Akers' has gone out of his way to showcase lover boy Dean of the lookalike James variety, as the one unperturbed by any such handicap, being proudly keen to show his affection for Morgan in public, only to find himself rebuked in the process by a man forever preoccupied by his "non-legger" status. And it is here that Akers scores the most, given the majority of the film is spent detailing the mental, rather than the physical barrier to Morgan's recovery, as lead Leo Minaya vividly illustrates the mindset of a man who has still to accept his paraplegic self, being a sure case of - how can you love someone else, when you cannot love yourself?

True, the ending was never in doubt given the nature of the format, strong as it is on same-sex love and sweet 'n' tender scenes, between the boys. But knowing that, Akers' laces his work with a series of heated exchanges to keep the narrative fires burning and here cue Morgan's obsessive desire to race letting risk everything he holds most dear: be it his friends, his mother, or that of his very life itself. And whilst certain scenes, for better or for worse, have gone missing in action, including all of Omar Gonzalez's contribution to the production, there is equally no doubting that this is a film with its heart in the right place, one that beautifully epitomizes how a physical disability and as the inspirational athletes of the recent Paralympic Games know only too well, is no disability for going for gold; be it life, be it love.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek. 
Overall - file under ... 3 stars. 

›› Available to buy from Amazon.com.
available on DVD as part of the Water Bearer Films catalogue: 23.October.2012 / US.
principal players: Leo Minaya / Morgan Oliver, Jack Kesy / Dean Kagen, Darra "Like Dat" Boyd / Lane Williams,
Madalyn McKay / Peg Oliver, Theodore Bouloukos / Dr Thomas, Benjamin Budd / Wesley Blake
and Omar Gonzalez as Ernesto 'Ernie' Martin / deleted scenes.
official website:
Copyright 2012 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #525
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