Kino Světozor, Vodičkova 41, Praha 1, reservations:
608 330 088

 Wednesday 17.11.2010

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.

Thursday 18.11.2010

6:00 p.m. Body and Soul: Diana and Kathy
(Alice Elliott / 2006 / USA / 40 min.)

Body & Soul: Diana & Kathy is a true story about two life-long friends who have made their home in Springfield, Illinois. Diana drives, cooks, shops, and has been Kathy’s personal assistant and friend for the past 35 years. Remarkably, Diana has Down syndrome, a genetic condition that gives her one extra chromosome and a lower IQ. Kathy on the other hand is 61, has a degree in English, but is non-verbal, and has had cerebral palsy since her birth. As part of their ongoing activist efforts to demystify disability, Diana and Kathy invited Alice into their home over a period of five years to create their film. The documentary is an intimate portrait of two women with disabilities who are determined to live independent, non-institutionalized lives.

Earthlings, Who Are You Voting For?
(Inventura / 2010 / Czech Republic / 40 min.)

Earthlings, Who Are You Voting For? is a documentary project created by people who have difficulty getting their bearings in the surrounding world and who probably did not excel in school. To be politically correct – they have a learning disability. This does not prevent them, however, from having an original and novel perspective on the world around them, sensitivity, curiosity and even audacity – all necessary traits of a documentary filmmaker. In Inventura’s six-month documentary workshop under the direction of Linda Jablonská, a film emerged which demonstrates that even people with a learning disability can get their bearings in public spaces and have a political opinion. The Dokumentalit crew followed a phenomenon which affects all of us – elections to the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic. They participated in pre-election meetings and recorded surveys with citizens as well as politicians on topics which in other media are unusual to say the least. External cameras captured everything that happened in the vicinity – the reactions of security personnel, supporters and opponents of particular political parties. The film crew also investigated whether political correctness and pre-election promises aren’t just empty slogans, and attempted to reveal the extent to which – 20 years after the revolution – a prejudice against everything that is not “completely normal” is still rooted in the Czech psyche.
As pre-films, we will screen short videos from the film workshop under the direction of Linda Jablonská.
Guests: Linda Jablonská and representatives of the film crew

8:30 p.m. Inventura, in cooperation with the German festival Wie wir leben, presents

Your Child Has Down Syndrome - Prenatal Diagnosis: Blessing or Curse?
(Ihr Kind hat Down-Syndrom Pränataldiagnostik: Segen oder Fluch?/ Anita Read / 2009 / Germany / 28 min.)
This documentary by German filmmaker Anita Read traces the life of a family into which a child afflicted with Down syndrome is born. After they overcome the initial shock and everything gets on track, there is another pregnancy, this time full of concerns and fears. The doctors are know the risks and recommend a prenatal diagnosis. Birte and Matthias are only too aware that the results could lead to an unsolvable moral conflict about whether every child really has a right to live.

Gefühlsecht und lebensnah – documentary about the German festival Wie wir leben
(Gefühlsecht und lebensnah / Kilian Sterff / 2009 / Germany / 58 min.)
The Wie wir leben (How we live) international festival of short films explores the lives of people with various kinds of disabilities. The documentary summarises the goings-on at the festival, including interesting interviews with filmmakers and jurors, and comments on film trailers.

Reporters for Ear Kiss Magazine – A Colourful World in Clear Language
(Reporter für Ohrenkuss – Eine bunte Welt in klarer Sprache/ Christof Stolle / 2009 / Germany / 28 min.)
Most of what one hears goes in one ear and out the other. Certain words and ideas seem interesting to us, sticking in our heads and becoming a kiss for the ear. In Bonn, Germany, there is a magazine with this name and it is produced by people with Down syndrome. The camera accompanies reporters on a trip to Dresden where they are collect material for a new article, tracing the creative process of people who see the world with different eyes.

Friday 19.11.2010

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.

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