Wednesday, October 13, 2010

31 for 21 Day 13 Part 2: Monica and David HBO Premier Tomorrow

It's hard to believe that tomorrow is the almost here...Oct.'s the world broadcast debut of the Monica and David documentary on HBO!  We don't get HBO so I'm trying to have a friend record it for me because I really want to see it!  I am so happy that HBO has agreed to air this documentary as I hope that many people who haven't been touched by Down syndrome in their own lives can get a glimpse into the world of DS and how many opportunities exist for people with DS today!

Tune In

HBO 1 & HBO Latino*
October 14th | 8pm ET/PT, 7pm CT
October 17th | 3:45pm ET/PT, 2:45pm CT
October 20th | 8:30am ET/PT, 7:30am CT
October 20th | midnight ET/PT, 11pm CT
October 23rd | 9:30am ET/PT, 8:30 am CT
October 26th | 2:15pm ET/PT, 1:15pm CT

HBO 2*
October 18th | 6:00am ET/PT, 5:00am CT
November 3rd | 8:00pm ET/PT, 7:00pm CT
November 6th | 6:00am ET/PT, 5:00am CT

ACB Radio
October 14th | 8:00pm ET, 5:00pm PT, 7:00pm CT

MONICA & DAVID explores the marriage of two adults with Down syndrome and the family who strives to support their needs.  Monica and David are blissfully in love and want what other adults have—an independent life.  Full of humor, romance and everyday family drama, the film uses intimate fly-on-the wall footage to reveal the complexity of their story.  While Monica and David are capable beyond expectations, their parents, aware of mainstream rejection of adults with intellectual disabilities, have trouble letting go.

Directed by Monica’s cousin, the film has a storybook beginning with a young couple full of hope and laughter.  Just before the wedding, a self-assured Monica declares: “It’s all about him, and all about me.  This is my day.  It’s my life, to be with my husband forever”.  By their side are two fearless mothers who realize a lifelong dream—a “normal” life for their adult children.  Marriage for adults with Down syndrome is very unusual, in part because until recently people with Down lived short isolated lives.  In 1983 life expectancy was 25, but today it is 60, with some people living into their 70s.

Although Monica and David’s love is never in question, the honeymoon slowly subsides as the realities of everyday life sink in.  They prepare to move to a new apartment with her mother (Maria Elena) and adoptive father (Bob), disrupting the routine which Monica and David so rely on. In the midst of the chaos, David is diagnosed with diabetes and it seems that the couple will never be independent.

Throughout the story, Monica and David’s capacity is countered by their need for assistance, establishing a vague grey line between adult and child.  But their parents will not always be around, and Monica and David are can handle adult responsibility when it’s allowed of them.  Maria Elena has an epiphany moment, stating: “as parents, we want people to look upon our children with special needs like anyone else…And yet because we want to protect them so much, we are typically the first ones who treat them poorly by subconsciously denying them their rights to have a normal life.”

In the end, Monica and David are allowed to take the first steps towards a more independent life, and with Bob and Maria Elena’s help, begin to explore work opportunities.  At a meeting at Best Buddies, an employment coordinator explains that: “ultimately, it’s about independence, independence with the support.”

1 comment:

  1. WE dont have HBO either...... hoping maybe daughter does.