Friday, July 22, 2011
movie "Anita" about a young Argentine woman who has Down syndrome
The Martha's Vineyard Summer Institute will play "Anita," about the misadventures of a young Argentine woman who has Down syndrome, on Sunday, July 24.
Summer Institute's "Anita"
Set in Buenos Aires, "Anita" is a compelling portrait of a young woman with Down syndrome who lives with her mother until an anti-Jewish bombing disrupts their lives. As played with poise and sincerity by Alejandra Manzo, Anita is well loved and cared for by Dora (Norma Aleandro, nominated for an Oscar in "Gaby, A True Story").
Bombing of the nearby Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA) in 1994, an event that actually took place, leaves Anita disoriented and alone. Wandering the streets of a city that has the largest Jewish population in South America, and unable to communicate adequately what has happened to her, she befriends a variety of people who temporarily take her under their wings.
First comes Felix (Luis Luque), an alcoholic photographer with a host of problems who reluctantly brings Anita home for the night and, to his surprise, helps her bathe. Meanwhile, Anita's brother Ariel (Peto Menahem) and his wife are desperately searching for Anita.
Felix decides to bus Anita to a mental hospital, drops her off, but doesn't stick around. Hunger eventually spurs Anita to enter a little Asian market, where she picks out some food but has no money.
Eventually the irritated woman who runs the market relents and takes in Anita. Anita happily settles there until an attempted robbery scares her away. She bumps into her would-be buddy Felix again, who delivers her to his sister.
In each case, Anita's naturalness and simplicity bring out a touch of humanity lurking in the strangers she befriends. When she is finally reunited with Ariel, she happily climbs into his car and heads home to deal with what has happened to their mother.
"Anita" illustrates the resourcefulness and innate intelligence of an individual with Down syndrome. Director Marcos Carnevale tells Anita's unusual story with tenderness and subtlety.