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image credit : http://www.gopixpic.com

image credit : http://www.gopixpic.com

‘Be My Brother’ is a short film, produced in 2009 and producer by Genevieve Clay. This film won the top prize in Australia’s TropFest Festival of the same year. Be My Brother has an interesting plot built around simple tensions between able and disabled people and their families which any audience can follow.

The star of the film is Gerard O’Dwyer who plays Richard, a young man with Down Syndrome. He practices various roles while waiting for the bus as a way to entertain himself. This then becomes the basis for his interaction with a stranger (Amanda) who initially underestimates people with a disability. The bus stop is the main setting for this film and by putting characters in the different places where they sit we are able to visualise the attitudes of the characters towards each other. For example, it’s obvious that Damien (Richard’s brother) is embarrassed by Richard and wants to keep his distance from him. Finally Richard a young man with Down Syndrome, through charm and charisma succeeds in overcoming the challenges and prejudices he faces and made a good impact on the stranger (Amanda). He also wins over the heart and mind of his brother Damien.

Clay as producer uses simple dialogue in this film, and uses different framing; long shots, medium shots, medium close ups and close ups to show the changing relationships between the characters in a convincing and engaging way. But it is a bit difficult for audiences who don’t have an English speaking background, because sometime Richard’s dialogue is not clear.

Richard is unique and an inspirational character. His physical and mental challenges don’t make him shy about performing in front of the general public because he is confident. This film illustrates how relationships between people can be made better through honest and open interaction.

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