In Professor Cunningham's Documentary 'Crutch,' Dancer Bill Shannon Doesn't Need a Hand

Thursday, November 05, 2020

KQED ARTS (SAN FRANCISCO) -- After an early four-minute promo Cunningham and Vayabobo cut in 2006 went viral on YouTube, they knew that they had the raw ingredients for a powerful film. “And then there was a problem with the story,” says Cunningham, who is also a professor of multimedia journalism at San Francisco State University.

“Bill was very clear that he didn’t want to do anything that smacked of triumph over adversity, what he calls ‘inspiration porn,’” she says. “He had started doing these street performances, trying to figure out the phenomenology of interactions with people and the secret world of assumptions. To find that story, we had to keep following him.”