Independent Lens: Move Me

Independent Lens: Move Me

Mon, 11/07/2022 - 10:00pm - 11:00pm

Caption: Director Kelsey Peterson sitting in Jelenik's studio in Penland, NC

Photo Credit: Mercedes Jelenik

Filmmaker Kelsey Peterson’s intimate and moving journey to redefine who she is while adapting to life with a disability.

Beneath the waters of Lake Superior in 2012, Kelsey Peterson underwent a transformation in a split second when she dove in and hit the lake bottom head first. As a result, Peterson suffered a spinal cord injury that would rob her of both function and sensation from the chest down and strip her of her self-identity as an athlete and dancer. Move Me, an Independent Lens presentation, premiering Monday, November 7, 2022 at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV, tells her story.

Now, years later, she invites audiences to witness the ebb and flow of hope and acceptance on her journey post-injury with raw honesty. Directed by Peterson and Daniel Klein, “Move Me” follows Peterson on her personal journey as she meets with others in the spinal cord injury (SCI) community, who remind her of life’s vitality and give her the strength to return to dance. Along the way, Peterson unexpectedly finds herself facing an opportunity to dance again, showing her a new path toward acceptance, all the while grappling with a decision to participate in a cutting-edge clinical trial that could bring her some much-desired change. 

Over the course of the film, Peterson not only speaks with experts, family, and peers but also turns the camera on herself, sharing her own vulnerabilities as she evaluates the possibilities of her recovery, body and spirit. 

This film is presented as part of Move to Include, a partnership between WXXI and the Golisano Foundation designed to build a more inclusive community by inspiring and motivating people to embrace different abilities and include all people in every aspect of community life. Move to Include grew out of WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies initiative, Dialogue on Disability, which is an annual week-long programming event that encourages community dialogue about the lives and abilities of people with disabilities