Watch: Alex Widdowson's Fantastic Animated Short 'Music & Clowns'
by Alex Billington
July 27, 2020
"I don't think he wants to be a clown, I think he likes what they portray: which is a nice and simple mime of life." What a gorgeous little film. British animation filmmaker Alex Widdowson introduces Music & Clowns perfectly: "My brother, Jamie, has a profound learning disability. Despite being close to nonverbal, he demonstrates charisma, a sharp sense of humour, and emotional sensitivity. I team up with my parents to discuss what it is like caring for someone with Down syndrome. We piece together fragments of insight to gain a sense of his inner life." And the result is something beautiful. There's a variety of animation styles in this, and some seriously funny natural comedy. Alex wants to challenge the stigma of the D word - disability. "I believe people should be able to base life-changing decisions on accurate information. But I also feel that a diagnosis does not reflect my brother’s human worth. This [short] attempts to complement the medical narrative with first-hand stories of what it is like to have someone with Down syndrome." It's worth a watch.
Thanks to Short of the Week for the tip on this one. Brief description from YouTube: "Jamie has a profound learning disability. Despite being close to nonverbal, he demonstrates charisma, a sharp sense of humour, and emotional sensitivity." Music & Clowns is directed and produced by filmmaker Alex Widdowson - a London-based animated documentary director, specializing in the "representation of cognitive difference." View more of his work on Vimeo or visit his official website. Alex explains his inspiration for making this: "We rarely see portrayals of the diverse, ordinary lives of people who have Down syndrome (unless we are connected to someone who has it)… This film attempts to complement the medical narrative with first-hand stories of what it is like to have someone with Down syndrome in your family. Jamie has enriched our lives and I believe a society can be measured by its capacity to nurture those who are most vulnerable." For more info on this short, visit SOTW or Widdowson's Vimeo. To discover even more shorts, click here. Thoughts?
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