PBS TO AIR DOCUMENTARY ON MIDDLE AGE ADULTS LIVING WITH DOWN SYNDROME

As part of PBS’ POV (Point of View) series, the Chilean documentary “The Grown Ups” will air on Monday, September 4 at 10 pm.  The documentary is an “’empathetic study of middle-aged students at a school for Down’s  Syndrome [adults that] shows them to be stuck in a tragic state of limbo: Mature enough to want the pressures and privileges of independent adulthood, yet emotionally and financially ill-equipped to pursue them alone, they’re ultimately failed by a system that treats them as homogeneously disabled,”  according to a review by Variety film critic Guy Lodge. One couple wishes to get married and have a family, but learns that a union between two people with Down syndrome may not be legally recognized in their country and adoption may be restricted or prohibited as well. Another man struggles with the fact that he works two jobs, but still earns far too little to be able to afford his own place and live independently.

“The unforgettable characters at the center of this film highlight important questions about the constraints placed on those deemed ‘less than’ by various societal institutions,” said Chris White, executive producer of POV. “A remarkable and impassioned work, it forces us to consider the pain that can be imposed by varying notions of how much freedom is appropriate for those living with developmental disabilities.”

To view a trailer of “The Grown Ups” click here.

Sources for the article: “Down Syndrome Documentary Coming To PBS” by Shaun Heasley, Disability Scoop, August 15, 2017IDFA Film Review: ‘The Grown-Ups’ by Guy Lodge, Variety, November 21, 2016.