Monday, May 24, 2021

Human Rights Watch Film Festival Spotlight: Forget Me Not

Forget Me Not
Directed by Olivier Bernier
Screening Information

The notion of equality in America is, unfortunately, becoming less and less defensible as even those who still cling to the idea of its existence have their eyes opened to how those who look different are not in fact given the same opportunities. Appearance is merely one aspect of discrimination, as expectations are often set for all to perform at the same level, failing to take into account disabilities or other conditions and setting up no realistic alternatives for accommodation. While some options do exist, there are far too many cases in which minimal effort is taken to reach an acceptable solution. In this documentary made by two parents, they chronicle their own journey through the process of finding a suitable path for their three-year-old son Emilio.

This film does an enormously effective job of translating a struggle many face for acceptance into a relatable story of advocacy and endurance. Using the power of the camera that they have, Olivier Bernier and his wife Hilda share every step of their story, recording conversations with education representatives and social workers to fully capture the arduous steps that even they must take to assure some basic level of opportunity for their son that isn’t merely determining that he must be separated from any experience of mainstream learning. While some filmmakers may caution against becoming part of your own film, their involvement and passion in it is what makes it unforgettable.


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