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 Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 10 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. This documentary is presented as part of Dialogue on Disability, a partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies that celebrates people with differing abilities.

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.

Dialogue on Disability, an initiative founded by WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies in 2003, celebrates people with differing abilities and promotes a more inclusive community. Presenting a week’s worth of TV and radio specials, news reports, and interviews on WXXI’s daily talk show, Connections with Evan Dawson, the initiative is designed to encourage community discussion about the perspectives and abilities of people with physical and intellectual disabilities. Dialogue on Disability runs January 25-31.

For a complete list of programs and other offerings, visit WXXI.org/dod. Dialogue on Disability is a partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies - in conjunction with the Herman and Margaret Schwartz Community Series. The initiative is supported by the Fred L. Emerson Foundation with additional support from The Golisano Foundation.

Pictured: Friends featured in the film
Credit: POV 

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WXXI Media Contact:

Kristin Tutino

Creative Services Department

585-258-0253
pressroom@wxxi.org

 



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