Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Worth Watching

Here are a couple of films worth watching. Both were featured in the Spring issue of Apostrophe Magazine.

Strong Love 
56 minutes 

The story of world-class weightlifter Jon Shapiro and his childhood sweetheart Holly James, both of whom were born with Down syndrome.

This documentary by filmmaker Bonnie Burt follows the Marin County, California, couple over the course of three years, starting with their decision to get married. Their challenges, their triumphs and their complex, sometimes surprising, relationships with family and friends are at the heart of this inspiring film. 

Educational Media Reviews Online said this about Strong Love: “Technically the film is very strong, the camera angles, original music and editing helped maintain my interest. The story moves quickly and answers the questions that come to mind about these two lives.

Because the film has such human interest appeal, and deals with some universal themes, it will appeal to a wide audience and can be useful in many ways.

Holly — Going Beyond Mother and Daughter’s Potential, is available at Holly and Dixie will present at the National Down Syndrome Convention July 19-22 in Washington, D.C.
Burt I & II
25 minutes and 8 minutes
2002 and 2005 
Burt portrays a man with developmental disabilities who survived decades of inhuman treatment to become a person who enjoys life to the fullest.

Burt Petrone was born in New York in 1921. He was born with developmental disabilities.
In the year 2001, at the age of 79, Burt agreed to sit in front of a camera with his wife Barbara and talk about his life. He gives a chronological history of his life and times beginning in 1936 when he was 15 years old. 

“He has an incredible memory for dates and gives many specific dates as he tells his story,” said Anthony Di Salvo, who directed and edited the video. 

The video is also a love story of how Burt and Barbara met, courted and married and lived together for over 15 years. Burt is also a talented, self-taught musician and plays a few songs during the video, some of which he composed himself.

Burt is a video that portrays a man who survived decades of inhuman treatment to become a person who enjoys life to the fullest.

Burt II: In 2005, Di Salvo returned to Burt and Barbara’s home for an update for the years 2001 – 2005. Burt shares his thoughts on 9/11, the Iraq War and President Bush while also playing a new composition he wrote dedicated to the World Trade  Center attack. 
Film summaries courtesy of Sproutflix: 

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