POV: The Grown-Ups

(Rochester, NY) –  In a school for individuals with Down syndrome, four middle-aged friends yearn for a life of greater autonomy in a society that marginalizes them as disabled. The Grown-Ups, airing Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV, is a humorous and at times sad and uncomfortable look at the tragic limbo of conscious adults. The film, by director Maite Alberdi illuminates legal, financial and societal restrictions that diminish the freedoms of Chile's developmentally disabled population.

Alberdi places the viewer in a center for individuals with Down syndrome, where the film's main characters attend school and staff an in-house catering business. One of the regular therapy sessions the middle-aged students attend takes place in a room with a sign that reads, "Taller Adultez Consciente," Spanish for "Conscious Adult Workshop."

Inside, counselors help students cultivate a sense of self-worth and independence. However, the experiences of the central characters in the outside world seldom reflect those lessons. "I'm sick of school. So bored. I've been here for 40 years... I can't do the same thing my whole life." So says Anita, an older woman and longtime trainee. Yet the film is often humorous and joyful.

This  program is part of Dialogue on Disability, a partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies designed to stimulate community dialogue about the perspectives and abilities of people with physical and intellectual disabilities. During the week-long initiative, which runs January 14 through January 20, 2019 WXXI presents special programming on TV, radio, and at the Little Theatre.

Dialogue on Disability is made possible through support from the Fred L. Emerson Foundation. The partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies is supported by the Golisano Foundation and Move to Include, a project designed to build a more inclusive community by inspiring and motivating people to embrace different abilities and include all people in every aspect of community life.

Pictured: Friends featured in the film
Credit: POV 

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WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to wxxi.org for more information about our services and programs.

 

WXXI Media Contact:

Kristin Tutino

Creative Services Department

585-258-0253
pressroom@wxxi.org

 



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