Lee'd the Way proves only you can limit yourself.
"Every person has a voice and every voice is different. You just haven't found your's yet. But when you do, you will be able to soar."
Lee'd the Way is a 2021 movie about self-discovery and fulfillment. Patrick Lee (Simon Twu) is legally blind(without his NU eyes goggles) and autistic with Asperger Syndrome. He has a dream to be the President of the United States of America and was found during his sidewalk campaign by Celeste (Carolina Hoyos), who helps him strive further.
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Celeste could have been the second female chief ever of the Cherokee nation but left Oklahoma for California. As a see-er, she had a vision of him and herself as the sworn-in president which motivated her. Her determination is affirmed and amplified when she sees Patrick's Oberoende seal which she had seen in her visions. Oberoende is Patrick's micro-nation, a nation within a nation to inspire growth and justice. Celeste is Cherokee and so is her mentor, Samuel (Johnny Vitelli).
Cherokee people (according to Wikipedia) are:
The Cherokee (/ˈtʃɛrəkiː, ˌtʃɛrəˈkiː/; Cherokee: ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯᎢ, romanized: Aniyvwiyaʔi or Anigiduwagi, or Cherokee: ᏣᎳᎩ, romanized: Tsalagi) are one of the indigenous peoples of the Southeastern Woodlands of the United States. Prior to the 18th century, they were concentrated in their homelands, in towns along river valleys of what is now southwestern North Carolina, southeastern Tennessee, edges of western South Carolina, northern Georgia, and northeastern Alabama.
The Cherokee language is part of the Iroquoian language group.
The Indigenous culture of the Cherokee people is displayed in the movie through their attires, language and names. Samuel seeing the Oberoende seal accuses Patrick of getting help from Celeste as he could not understand the reason it had sacred Cherokee symbols on it. He was unsure about Celeste helping him, he believed it was a waste of time with no promise but changed his mind at this moment.
The Oberoende made him emotional and stirred up support for him as he now saw that they were brothers. Patrick's parents left him at a young age which left him to go through foster homes and an institution, so it's not unusual for him to be Cherokee and not know. Samuel's pride and familiarity led him to give Patrick a Cherokee name, calling him Patrick 'Dark Horse' Lee.
DISABILITY IS NOT DISABLING
Wikipedia describes Asperger Syndrome as:
Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger's, is a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour and interests. The syndrome is no longer recognised as a diagnosis in itself, having been merged with other conditions into autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It was considered to differ from other diagnoses that were merged into ASD by relatively unimpaired spoken language and intelligence.
and Autism Speaks shares:
Asperger syndrome generally involves:
Difficulty with social interactions
Desire for sameness
Strengths can include:
Remarkable focus and persistence
Aptitude for recognizing patterns
Attention to detail
Challenges can include:
Hypersensitivities (to lights, sounds, tastes, etc.)
Difficulty with the give and take of conversation
Difficulty with nonverbal conversation skills (distance, loudness, tone, etc.)
Uncoordinated movements, or clumsiness
Anxiety and depression
The tendencies described above vary widely among people. Many learn to overcome their challenges by building on strengths.
Though the diagnosis of Asperger syndrome is no longer used, many previously diagnosed people still identify strongly and positively with being an "Aspie."
Regardless of his blindness and Asperger Syndrome, Patrick had dreams he believed were possible. He had a lot of help from Celeste and her connections as his campaign manager and performed excellently with practice.
A reporter called Catalina(Gevrina Catalina) calls Patrick crazy to the man filming, Jorge (Lou Pizarro) and tells him to keep filming everything. She believes his ideals and ambitions are unrealistic and unachievable. This interview segment is intended for hilarious and unusual things but serves as free promotion aligning with his desire to avoid paid advertisements. Confused about her stating this, he asks if he's funny or strange. She said "Not necessarily, but besides the fact that you're blind, I also understand that you're autistic" which he confirms. She follows up by saying, "And yet you're running for president of the United States?". He answers her saying, "Well, I don't think any of those conditions are a disability. Actually, it helps me to concentrate on focusing to solve the problems.". He seems too ambitious to everyone except Celeste as he's considered to have a disability which he doesn't consider as such. He is a skilled accountant and is still being sought after by the clients he's dropping to focus on his campaign. Celeste's unshaken trust and drive help push his existing drive to want to do more.
She wanted him to go out to meet more people and expand his horizons but he was nervous. He felt he couldn't emote confidently like Celeste when practicing for a speech but she said, "Every person has a voice and every voice is different. You just haven't found your's yet. But when you do, you will be able to soar.". He sounded monotonous but she motivates him about finding his footing and the possibility of soaring when he does which he evidently does during his speech before the attempted assassination. After his attempted assassination, he felt powerless as he was now blind, autistic and in a wheelchair but he was still hopeful as Celeste gave him hope as well.
Catalina grows more interested in Patrick and his run as he continues succeeding after her first turbulent and close-minded interview. She continues to cover his campaign and progress seemingly believing in him more. Out of the bushes, his ex-girlfriend, Barb (Michaella Russell) shows up saying she misses him. He questioned whether she was doing this for her green card which was hilarious but she said she got one already. He was really hurt by her leaving as he was losing his sight and belief in himself. He refused to be hurt by her again after he figured out she believes in him and only wants to be the First Lady when the time comes. He sends her away and continued his run. He had edited pictures of himself in several locations because he always wanted to travel but with his campaign, he travels and hangs an actual picture he took in Washington.
I noticed Celeste keeps making him remove his goggles which helps him see. However, it's best she left it so he fully lives each moment(if he can). I understand they need to see his face which she said at the end of the movie would distract the audience. The removal of it at the hospital caused his fear of the screaming fan approaching him and subsequently caused the gun to fire. However, I understood it in the end. For his final speech at the end, he doesn't wear his Nu Eyes as she said they need to see his eyes even though he can't actually see them. She gave him earplugs as well to drown out most of the audience's screams as it could trigger his Asperger's as well as his sight of the audience which he struggled with also. Despite that, he removes the earplugs after he spoke regardless of the possible effect in order to fully live in the moment and embrace his joy.
How to fight for justice is subjective
Patrick saw his purpose and Oberoende as a provise. He said, "So see, like a virus it endangers, it spreads and it hurts the host from within. But a provise, it empowers and it enlightens from within, provise.". We see his ideals questioned when he met Seco (Loren Anthony), the son of Samuel and a member of the Native American Revolutionary Movement (NARM). Seco expresses his distrust in Patrick as he sees him to be incapable. They discuss and we see he believes in violence probably through experience.
Patrick is hopeful and a pacifist. He's focused on changing people from within and having an actual prolonged solution rather than a temporary answer. Celeste is a personable and natural-born leader as Samuel says, therefore, she helps Patrick when his intellect can't. He created an online game to learn from while promoting an encouragement of justice.
Unfortunately, he was a victim of a hate crime during his campaign by a heckler (Kenneth Best). This man questioned him about being blind before letting his stereotypical and derogatory idea of them being "savages" shoot Patrick. This Caucasian man's identity was not revealed for some reason for quite some time until it wasn't. All that was revealed according to Catalina was that he had a history of mental illness and was under the influence of alcohol. Patrick empathized with the killer and wanted to know why he did it. Although, people were still rooting for him as an underdog.
The fired gun in the hospital was owned by Seco. His arrest, despite being in a hospital was done rather quickly. You can tell he's been unjustly attended to or told of the procedure to follow because, despite his questioning, his response and mannerisms are of compliance. He didn't spend too much time in jail though as he see him out in a bit without much hassle.
Patrick's attempted assassination leads him to set his mind on solving gun control. His 10 nationwide and 5 globally requested Oberoende campaign offices tracked his progress. With his team, they form Smart Magic technology for the guns to fire only from the identified user and non-lethal but effective tranquillizers. They called them Smart guns and Magic Bullets. Despite the uproar about the implementation of this and the protests, the National Gun Association backs Patrick's race for the presidency.
They were doing good things and attracted attention without any negatives. They did a pro-walk and pro-hike instead of a protest because they are not against anything but wanted to spread awareness of Smart Magic. They worked on their actions instead of words and promises that often lead to falsehoods. They actually acted and solved the persistent conflict between India and Pakistan instead of attending the presidential debate. This earned him more points standing with Celeste, his running mate and potential Vice-president.
Vengeful, Barb plants seeds of doubt around. She anonymously tips reporters that Patrick staged the shooting and falsely adjusted tax documents which warranted a raid. He was not scared because he knew he didn't do anything wrong but was bothered that people were coming for him. To console him, Celeste said he came out of nowhere and they don't know what to do with him.
During his final speech, Patrick talks about his naivety and the limitations in his interactions with people as computers became his solace. He said that as he got older he missed the companionship many take for granted. He learned to be independent, self-motivated, and to live his purpose.
The movie ends at this point because it's not about the election but his progress and his effect on the world which he pointed out would still be there if he wins or not. We're rooting for Patrick as everyone stands on the sidelines and he is standing tall in his moment.
Patrick and Celeste have inklings of romance, although, more for Patrick. A romantic angle is not focused on, inspiring that as a possible direction for them. He finds her attractive and enjoys her company as he's always been more alone than anything. However, he makes his interest in her known at a point with not much changed. Although, Celeste kissed his cheek before his big speech at the end to either indicate hope or appreciation with nothing more. She continuously encouraged and cared for him which led to great results. This movie is about finding yourself, accepting yourself and building togetherness as well as a nation as they were once stripped of with people that support you, all in a political space.
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