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Jane Enkin Previews My Hero Brother-A Delightful Film at Winnipeg Jewish international Film Festival

by Jane Enkin, May 17, 2017

My Hero Brother 

Ach Sheli Gibor

Israel/India, 2016, Hebrew with English subtitles, Director: Yonatan Nir, 78 minutes

 

Review by Jane Enkin

Jane Enkin Music and Story at janeenkinmusic.com

 

I love what I call “landscape movies” and this one really delivers.  This is a documentary film about a group of young Israelis on a trek in India, an adventure that attracts many Israelis.  They are travelling in pairs – adults with Downs Syndrome each accompanied by an adult sibling.  We witness their determination, their doubts, and most of all the love and warmth among these brothers and sisters.  

There are scenes of a bustling city in India, forests and streams, and open hillsides where you can look past deep valleys toward snow-capped peaks. Although the participants in the trek often keep each other going with the prospect of ever more fabulous views, the natural beauty is merely a backdrop to the story of strength and transformation.

Several of the able siblings describe the experience of growing up with a special child in the family, not always pleasant -- some took extra responsibility to stand up for their sibling or encourage them to achieve, some felt neglected by their parents.  These voiceovers accompany family snapshots that reinforce how grounded these relationships are. The able siblings are struggling still, strategizing ways to make decisions for their Downs siblings while respecting them as adults. When the question arises of whether such a demanding trip is worthwhile, one able participant describes the alternative attitude, leaving his brother to watch TV in a daycare all day long.  These are Israelis, after all, tough and resilient.

New friendships develop over the course of the journey, and existing relationships grow deeper. One point of the film is to remind viewers that each of the Downs adults is an individual, but most do seem to have in common an open-hearted nature.  They feel strong empathy for one another, they express their feelings powerfully, and most of them overflow with affection.  My family and I laughed about how much hugging there is in this delightful film.

To buy tickets go to: http://www.radyjcc.com/cultural-events/winnipeg-international-jewish-film-festival/

 

 
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