CSUN to Screen Documentary Exploring What it Means to Be Intelligent

Naieer, one of the people who's lives are explored in the film, "Intelligent Lives."

Naieer (above)  is featured in the documentary, “Intelligent Lives,” which challenges perceptions of intelligence as it follows three individuals with intellectual disabilities as they navigate high school, college and work.

Just what does it mean to be called “intelligent?” California State University, Northridge is screening a documentary on Wednesday, Sept. 12, that turns any preconceived notions about what it means to be intelligent on their head.

“Intelligent Lives,” by award-winning documentarian Dan Habib, features three people with intellectual disabilities who challenge perceptions of intelligence as they navigate high school, college and the workforce.

“It gives us great pleasure to be the first venue to screen ‘Intelligent Lives’ on the West Coast,” said special education professor Beth Lasky, who is organizing the event. “We’re lucky enough to have Dan Habib with us that night, who will answer questions about what inspired him to make the film.”

Filmmaker Dan Habib

Filmmaker Dan Habib will be on hard to answer questions at the screening.

The screening of “Intelligent Lives” is scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. in the Northridge Center of the University Student Union, located on the east side of the CSUN campus off Zelzah Avenue.  The free screening is open to the public, but registration is required.

The evening also celebrates the recent launch of a new program at the university, CSUN Explorers, a two-year inclusive experience designed to increase the independence, and work and life skills of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The first cohort of students to take part in the program started this month.

“Intelligent Lives” aims to reshape how people define intelligence, and transform the label of intellectual disability from a life sentence of isolation into a life of possibility for some of the most systematically segregated people in America.

Academy Award-winning actor Chris Cooper serves as narrator of the film and contextualizes the lives of its central characters — Micah, Naieer and Naomie — through the emotional personal story of his son Jesse, as the film unpacks the shameful and ongoing track record of intelligence testing in the U.S.

For more information about the film screening or CSUN Explorers, contact Lasky at beth.lasky@csun.edu. To register to attend the screening, go to www.IntelligentLivesFilm.eventbrite.com. Parking on the CSUN campus is $8.