Northeast Arc, Bridgewell to host screening of ‘Intelligent Lives’ Thursday

PEABODY — “Intelligent Lives,” a documentary by award-winning filmmaker Dan Habib, will be shown at Northeast Arc’s Peabody Black Box Theater Thursday night. The screening will be sponsored by Northeast Arc’s Family Resource Center and Bridgewell’s Family Support Center.

“Intelligent Lives” stars three pioneering young adults with intellectual disabilities — Micah, Naieer and Naomie — who challenge perceptions of intelligence as they navigate high school, college and the workforce. Academy Award-winning actor and narrator Chris Cooper contextualizes the lives of these central characters through the emotional story of his son, Jesse, as the film unpacks the questionable track record of intelligence testing in the U.S. 

New Hampshire-based Habib, the producer, director and cinematographer of “Intelligent Lives,” will introduce the documentary at the Peabody Black Box, located at 22 Foster St. The screening, which starts at 5:30 p.m., is free and open to the public. To reserve tickets visit or call 978-624-2333.

“People with intellectual disabilities are the most segregated of all Americans,” said Habib, a filmmaker at the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability whose Emmy-nominated films have been broadcast internationally and translated into 17 languages. “Only 17 percent of students with intellectual disabilities are included in regular education; just 40 percent will graduate from high school. And of the 6.5 million Americans with intellectual disability, barely 15 percent are employed.”

“Intelligent Lives” is a catalyst to transform the label of intellectual disability from a life sentence of isolation into a life of possibility for the most systematically segregated people in America.

Danvers-based Northeast Arc helps people with disabilities become full participants in the community, choosing for themselves how to live, learn, work, socialize and play. The organization services approximately 9,000 people annually in more than 190 Massachusetts cities and towns.

Bridgewell, based in Peabody, strengthens communities by providing a wide range of social and human services that empower people with disabilities and other life challenges to live safe, self-directed and productive lives. Bridgewell delivers support through community housing, day programs, outpatient treatment, education and employment training through Eastern Massachusetts.


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