55 Steps is based a the inspiring true story of Eleanor Riese, a mental illness patient herself, who brings a class action suit to give competent mental patients the right to have a say in their medication while they're in a hospital, and Colette Hughes, the lawyer appointed to her case. Eleanor's fight for justice goes all the way up to the Supreme Court of California, and, despite a stormy start and Eleanor's difficult personality, in the process Eleanor and Colette develop a deep friendship that benefits Colette as much as it does Eleanor. Similar in tone to "Erin Brockovich," it is a moving story about two complex women, and the rights of mental patients who, even in hospitals, and even if they're competent to make judgments about their own care, have fewer rights than criminals. Director Billie August, who won the Cannes Film Festival Palm d'OR award twice, brings his incredible directing skills to this moving and important picture.
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