It's all about him, and all about me. This is my day. . . .
~ Monica on Her Wedding Day
This year's Tribeca Film Festival award for Best Documentary Feature went to Alexandra Codina's Monica and David, the moving story of two adults with Down syndrome who marry, move to their own apartment, and begin learning how to become independent with support. Their parents, meanwhile, struggle with letting go.
. . . as parents, we want people to look upon our children
with special needs like anyone else. . . And yet because we want
to protect them so much, we are typically the first ones who treat
them poorly by subconsciously denying them their rights
to have a normal life.
~ Maria Elena, Monica's Mother
Codina, who is Monica's cousin and grew up with her, both produced and directed the film. Currently, she is filming a documentary about a 96-year-old farmer and assisting with the foundation of the CineMia Coop in Miami. Drawing on her experience in working with adults with Down syndrome, Codina says of her film, "I have always wanted to get beyond Monica and David's seemingly happy exterior and understand what they really feel and want, and made this film to allow others to experience their intimate world." (An interview with Codina is here.)
Below is the official trailer for the film. The documentary will be broadcast in prime time this October, which has been declared Down Syndrome Awareness Month and National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
Additional videos highlighting the stories of others with disabilities are featured here.