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Smiling Again

Television (Full Length) – 1991

A law change in the 1980s gave mentally-handicapped children the right to be educated at New Zealand state schools. This 1991 doco examines the pros and cons of mainstreaming special needs children, by looking at the schooling of severely brain-damaged child Jessica Palmer. Teachers both for and against mainstreaming are interviewed, alongside Jessica's parents. Palmer's teacher Sue Dunleavy admits there have been noise issues at times, but thanks to Jessica's presence her classmates have "learnt acceptance and caring and understanding, and it's taken the fear away."

Key Cast & Crew

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Tom Finlayson

Director, Producer

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Chris Gurr


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David Caldwell


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Lorelei Mason


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Paul Stent


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Marcia Russell

Associate Producer

See all 8 credits

Produced by

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Images Ink


Made with funding from NZ On Air


Music by Stephen McCurdy.