Film Fest Showcase: ‘Monica and David’ show love can overcome
Jennifer Abplanalp, Opinions Editor
April 13, 2011
Filed under Arts & Culture
Monica and David is your classic boy meets girl story. Except that Monica and David have Down syndrome.
It tells the story of two young adults who want what everyone else wants in life: Liberty, love, family, and independence. And the film shares the difficulties encountered by the developmentally and intellectually disabled when in pursuit of those basic “everyday” desires and wants that humans strive to attain. For people without handicaps these life achievements come naturally, are even expected. For people who have disabilities/ handicaps it becomes more difficult.
The Tribeca Film Festival-winning film follows Monica and David’s first year of marriage together, from two weeks before their wedding to their one-year anniversary. Their parents battle the fears that all parents face in protecting their children from those who may not react well to their differences. They further must face that their children are grown adults with the desires of adults while maintaining the intellectual ability of children.
Both Monica and David have spent years in programs teaching them the life skills of an independent life style. They have been given instruction in skills like cooking nutrition and have volunteered in various organizations performing tasks like stuffing envelopes, delivering mail, and answering phones. Living independently, however, is not an option.
The struggles faced by these two beautiful people, so filled with love for each other, lavishing copious amounts of romantic displays of affection for one another, and for their families and the people around them, are echoes of what disabled people face everywhere. They too want love, family, and to contribute to society and support themselves.
The audience is presented with the difficult-to-comprehend portrayal of the difficulties faced by those in this situation and the film gives no clear solution. It only gives an intimate view of two individuals who have big dreams, many of which will never be realized. That is the only let down of the film; the vivid portrayal of those living with the restrictions and challenges of a handicapped life.
Monica and David is a story of joyful love against multiple obstacles, many that we all face, even more that we don’t.