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Middle-aged students with Down syndrome face obstacles to their independence.
Set in a Chilean school for people with Down, Alberdi’s appealing film profiles several women and men who, in some cases, have been attending for four decades, and, as is quickly apparent, have grown frustrated with going through the same paces in their vocational program for catering. Demonstrating a range of intellectual and emotional maturity, from the high-functioning Anita to the more challenged Rita, these individuals have not been children for years, yet find themselves being infantilized by existing laws that limit their ability to make decisions for themselves. Anita and her boyfriend Andres would like to marry, but they are not legally permitted. Ricardo, while holding a part-time job as a caregiver, is paid such criminally low wages that he’ll never be able to support himself. Although demonstrating these inequities, Alberdi generally uses a deft hand, revealing complex, fully-rounded subjects rather than simple mouthpieces for social issues – the only notably sour note here is the the too playful score, which at times undercuts the film’s more nuanced approach.