Raising the Bar
Directed by Onir Onir | Review by Moumita Deb
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his 118- minute film by the well-acclaimed Indian filmmaker Onir-Sanjay Suri touches our hearts. It is a moving and awe-inspiring docu-feature capturing the lives of six young individuals with Down syndrome. It follows them and their stories when they eventually meet at the World Down Syndrome Congress in Chennai India.
The uniqueness of the story is achieved through the display of undaunted courage and determination to overcome any barrier that might seem impossible to defeat. This film is extraordinary in how it portrays the ordinariness of its heroes and it does this with an element of humor and at times through challenging the audience in their subconscious bias.
With an insight into vastly different cultures and communities across two continents, the movie inspires the viewers to consider diversity in all of its dimensions and pave the way for an opportunity to embraces differences. It also allows the viewers to see what is possible when expectations are raised and people are given a supportive environment to thrive in and reinforce their existence in this ruthless world.
Celebrating diversity, the film highlights the universal experience of parental love and acceptance of those parents who are initially consumed with grief, fear and worry. Such parents are very unsure of what the future holds for their kids and the challenges they are about to face as a family, but they are nonetheless determined from the very beginning to let their kids reach their full potential. The film focuses on how breaking preconceived boundaries allows us to conquer personal challenges and it fortifies us with the moral courage to overcome all impediments in our way.
The film celebrates the acceptance of diversity and its beauty and it shares a powerful message on how refusing to accept traditional constraints allows the potential of every individual to shine through.
Raising The Bar is a beautiful and authentic insight into human potential and society’s influence on all of us.
This documentary has a wide reach and in a way, it can help people change the way they look at differently abled people. It’s not a preachy or boring film – it simply talks about various human stories across the continents. The audience can easily relate to this film because of its universal appeal.
Moumita is a Kolkata based independent filmmaker and film critic. She holds a post- graduation degree in English literature from Jadavpur University. Reading novels of a wide range of authors of all genres from classic to contemporary has always been Moumita’s passion and calling. She also takes a strong liking in playing the Spanish guitar & has participated in quite a few concerts. Moumita has done her certification course in Cinematography, Video Editing and Filmmaking.
Title Photo Credit: Sarah Osborn