When Billy Broke His Head ... And Other Tales of Wonder

The true and unfiltered experiences of Americans with disabilities.

Premiere Date
May 1, 1995
60 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    1995 Black Maria Film & Video Festival-Jurors' Choice
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    1995 Sundance Film Festival-Freedom of Expression Award
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    1996 California Governor's Committee for the Employment of Disabled Persons-Media Access Award
  • Producer

    David E. Simpson

    David E. Simpson has crafted award-winning films for 25 years. As a producer, director and editor, he plies his trade in the belief that a well-told story can move viewers’ hearts and minds about crucial, human issues. Based in Chicago, Simpson began making films at age 13, when he received a camera as a gift. He experimented with different kinds of Show more storytelling, settling on the documentary format. Simpson co-produced and directed the award-winning When Billy Broke His Head, a documentary about disability culture, and co-produced and edited Forgiving Dr. Mengele, a film about an Auschwitz survivor’s controversial campaign of forgiveness, which also garnered numerous awards. Simpson directed Refrigerator Mothers, a film about a generation of mothers who raised autistic children under the shadow of professionally promoted mother-blame. The film won top honors at a number of film festivals and aired on PBS. When not producing and directing his own work, Simpson edits long-form documentaries. His credits include Terra Ingcognito: Mapping Stem Cell Research and The New Americans, both produced by Kartemquin Films for Independent Lens. Simpson has also edited the Emmy-nominated Mysterious Crash of Flight 201 for NOVA and other award-winning television programs. Show less


    Billy Golfus

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    The Film

    "This ain't exactly your inspirational cripple story." Told with biting humor, this no-apologies look at the true and unfiltered experiences of Americans with disabilities goes straight to the source —and straight to the heart.