Monday, October 18, 2010

Movie Monday

This weekend while petsitting for my parents, I was able to take advantage of their on-demand movie subscription and I watched Monica & David, which I had just read about.

It's a documentary about two adults with Down Syndrome who get married and following the events in their life for their first year of marriage. It's hard to say it's a "sweet" movie without feeling like I'm pandering. It was a completely fair documentary, which is to say that it was documented footage of two people. There was no intention of whipping up controversy or tugging at heart-strings and I completely appreciated that. The movie really let the story unfold on its own, which honestly isn't a big story - two people get married, they move into a new home, and want to get jobs - but the way these two people approach it all is very special.

Monica and David themselves are charming. They are very gentle, kind people who really try very hard and because of that, it's easy to imagine them as your own children -- sort of an Everyman, although if this documentary were about the neighbors' kids, it wouldn't have the same impact. To see two people get married and move into a new home isn't really that interesting, frankly. But seeing it through a fresh perspective makes it interesting. We're seeing the difficult transition for people who are so bound by their routines and constants that the slightest change can make them miserable, and yet they keep going.

One of the fine lines for any documentary, and especially a piece about people with any kind of challenge or disability, is the "am I exploiting these people?" factor of it, and with this film, I really felt good about what I was seeing. The filmmaker is Monica's cousin, so it was personable and didn't feel advantageous or explotative. Like I said earlier, it felt very 'fair' and was a straight-forward record of this moment in time. No invented drama or editing intended to make someone a villian and someone a hero. It was hidden camera aimed at two adults making a new life together.

And yes, it was sweet.

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