Maite Alberdi, Chilean documentary director, who made the wonderful ”Tea Time” in 2014 and the equally wonderful ”I’m not from Here” this year together with Lithuanian Giedre Zickyte, a film that is nominated for the European Film Awards – has already now obtained for her new work ”The Grown-Ups”, sorry that is long, the IDFA Alliance Women Film Journalists’ EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Documentary. The jury’s motivation:
”Beautifully rendered and brilliantly edited, The Grown Ups is an
impressively informative and utterly compassionate glimpse into the lives of Down syndrome adults who are, at age 40-something, stuck in a school environment that ‘normal’ society deems safe, but they know to be quite limiting. Filmmaker Maite Alberdi’s rapport with her subjects allows them to voice their innermost longings and admirable aspirations. Their engaging story is a mixture of heartache and humor, and hope for greater understanding of people with Down syndrome – or, for that matter, anyone whose perceptions and abilities are different from ‘the norm’…”.
The film is in the international competition for feature-length documentaries, as are two other films, that I have watched today:
In loco parentis, Irish, by Neasa Ní Chianáin, that takes the viewer to an Irish – international – boarding school, that is full of life and two charismatic teacher, who have been there for decades, it’s their life, they are a couple, and it is more than a pleasure to see how they with passion and warmth cope with the children, who are from 7 to 12… and how they pretty often, pretty exhausted, evaluate the day gone and especially children, who need a gentle push. Boys and girls are observed when they are taught, by these two teachers, primarily creative skills. For those of you at IDFA, the film is still screened 3 times. Photo from the film.
The Good Postman, Finnish/Bulgarian, by Tonislav Hristov, produced by Kaarle Aho, was a disappointment. I had high expectations after seeing clips at the DocIncubator presentation in Malmø earlier this autumn, but it did not get my attention and I wonder why. Is it because the sympathetic postman in the Bulgarian village close to the Turkish border, who wants to be mayor to revive the dead place by letting refugees come and live there, that he totally lacks charisma, having the same sad expression the whole film through, is it because the long-haired, chainsmoking communist candidate for the post irritated me, is it because the film is over-dosed with music that stresses the sadness, the elegic tone that the filmmakers want to create. It’s overkill. The film is still running a couple of times at IDFA, go and check if I am wrong.