Kino Světozor, Vodičkova 41, Praha 1
www.kinosvetozor.cz, reservations: 608 330 088
6:00 p.m. Refrigerator Mothers
(David E. Simpson / 2003 / USA / 60 min.)
It is America of the 1950s and 1960s, when a woman’s most important contribution to society is generally considered to be her ability to raise happy, well-adjusted children. But for the mother whose child is diagnosed with autism, her life's purpose will soon become a twisted nightmare. Looking for help and support, she encounters instead a medical establishment that pins the blame for her child’s bizarre behavior on her supposedly frigid and detached mothering. Along with a heartbreaking label for her child, she receives a devastating label of her own. She is a “refrigerator mother”. Refrigerator Mothers paints an intimate portrait of an entire generation of mothers, already laden with the challenge of raising profoundly disordered children, who lived for years under the dehumanizing shadow of professionally promoted “mother blame.” Once isolated and unheard, these mothers have emerged with strong, resilient voices to share the details of their personal journeys. Through their poignant stories, Refrigerator Mothers puts a human face on what can happen when authority goes unquestioned and humanity is removed from the search for scientific answers.
Drona and Me
(Drona & ik, Catherine van Campen / 2009 / The Netherlands / 19 min.)
Drona is crazy about buses and knows the stops of all the bus lines in Amsterdam by heart. He is of Hindu origin and has autism. We follow him through the eyes of his older brother, Arjun, who says: “When I was eight or nine, I got angry and said to myself: ‘What's with him?’”. Arjun finds it especially unpleasant when Drona occasionally sticks out his tongue at strangers. In such moments he asks himself what will become of his brother. But Drona has no doubts about his future: one day he will become a bus driver. The film has received a number of awards and nominations at international film festivals.
Following the screening there will be a discussion with guests.
8:30 p.m. The Red Carpet
(Der Rote Tepich / Andrea Asch / 2006 / Germany / 88 min.)
The autistic author Axel Brauns tells the story of how he has conquered and still battles his present developmental disabilities in everyday life, in order to fit into a so-called “normal world”. After having completed a German bestseller novel, he now turns to film as a creative medium. Directing his first 90-minute film poses a completely new personal challenge, which eventually leads him on to The Red Carpet. A touching, yet humorous documentary about autism and the oddities of normalcy.
Tying Your Own Shoes
(Shira Avni / 2009 / Canada / 16 min.)
“My name is Petra Tolley. I’m 36, and don’t worry, I’m fine.” Tying Your Own Shoes explores how it feels to be a little bit unusual. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Shira Avni, this animated documentary provides an intimate glimpse into the exceptional mindsets and emotional lives of four adult artists with Down syndrome. Petra, Matthew, Katherine and Daninah’s artworks are combined with footage from interviews to blur philosophical lines between personal power and “disability”. Their first-person narratives challenge widely-believed stereotypes about Down syndrome. Their stories are direct, hard-hitting and wondrous, conveying each artist’s individual attitudes to create a touching, four-way essay about ability.
The film was created and distributed in cooperation with the National Film Board of Canada.
6:00 p.m. Is Love Enough?
(Tom Puchniak / 42 min. / 2002 / USA)
In profiles of four families, the film portrays the profound desire of many “retarded” people to raise children and the social and legal barriers they have to overcome to be able to do so. It also reveals the emotional price their children may pay as they get older and outgrow their parents’ mental abilities. The film offers an often brutally frank perspective on the new and growing phenomenon of people who were once institutionalized and sterilized as “feeble minded,” but who are now having children of their own. It poses the fundamental question about the rights of parents versus those of their children.
Parents with Limits
(Eszter Nordin / 2006 / Hungary / 56 min.)
A young Hungarian couple are expecting their first child, but after the first examination on screen, the doctors make reference to “undervalued contraception”. They are concerned that the parents will be unable to raise the child by themselves – they both have learning disabilities and, in addition, the future father is deaf. The director of this documentary full of unsettling questions follows this family, into which two children are born, for eight years. The first of them, Laci, intrigued her more: he is a very perceptive boy whose scholastic performance seems to be hampered more than anything else by his uninspiring family environment. And for the director it is increasingly difficult to maintain her professional distance.
Guests: Eszter Nordin, the director of Parents with Limits; Iva Strnadová and Monika Mužáková from the Faculty of Education at Charles University
8:30 p.m. Monica and David
(Alexandra Codina / 2009 / USA / 68 min.)
Monica and David are in love. They also happen to have Down syndrome. Both have strong and long relationships with their respected mothers. Ali Codina’s affectionate documentary is an intimate, year-in-the-life portrait of two childlike spirits with adult desires as they prepare for their fairy tale wedding and face the realities of married life afterward. Taking immense pride in their new roles as husband and wife, David wants to bring home the bacon, and Monica wants to fry it in the pan. They want babies of their own. But their unique circumstances still have them living with Monica’s mother and her husband. Their tender kisses and pet names are captured and treasured, but along with their story is one of two different mothers who sacrificed and struggled against an intolerant world to provide for their children.
Before the film, we will screen short videos from Inventura’s film workshop under the direction of Linda Jablonská.