In another reality
We may find it very difficult to associate disability with joys or blessings. The typically appropriate response towards someone else living with such a condition is of compassion and acceptance of the shortcomings with which nature or God (depending on one’s faith or lack there of) has assigned to the person in question. Rarely, however, do we get an opportunity to listen to these people, to look at them and to spend some time in their company without the need to communicate to them by whatever means that we are trying to understand them and to allow them the chance to be “normal,” or at least to lead a more or less “normal” life.
The films that deal with such issues and that focus on people with disabilities have a — perhaps natural and commendable — tendency to plead for something related to them and to their status in our contemporary societies. The truth is that too many contexts — including the one in Romania — are unfriendly and unadjusted to their primary needs, and the necessity to incite a political response is sometimes a matter of urgency.
During this year’s edition of the festival, however, we intend to showcase some different perspectives, less civically engaged and more interested in their protagonists on a humanistic level. They are some of the most touching works of our entire selection, not because they might arouse too much of an emotional reaction between the viewers and the characters, but because they reveal truly new and spectacular worlds, often of an unpredictable complexity and beauty. As opposed to the other worlds we are shown in the documentaries of One World Romania, these are internal rather than external and, therefore, harder to explore for those of us who are aware of their existence. We are aided, however, by the unabashed and direct approaches of the filmmakers who decided to turn their eye towards them and by the intimate and open relationship that develops between them and the people in front of them. To realise that someone who you could have just as well passed by on the street, wishing them good thoughts and hopes for a swift recovery, can actually bring such peace and grace to their family precisely because of their “ailment” is indeed an inspiration. To realise that the deficiencies with which some people are born can bring about certain problems — especially of a social nature — and at the same time allow them access into otherwise unreachable areas of the mind is, again, astonishing. We hope that what the films featured in this section will mean to you — as they have meant for us on our first viewing — is a chance to celebrate rather than bemoan diversity.