POV: The Grown Ups

About This Episode

The Grown-Ups is a glimpse into the lives of adults in Chile living with Down syndrome. With both humor and heartbreak, the film illuminates legal, financial and societal restrictions that diminish the freedoms of Chile's developmentally disabled population.

Director Maite Alberdi places the viewer in a center for individuals with Down syndrome, where the film's main characters attend school and staff an in-house catering business. One of the regular therapy sessions the middle-aged students attend takes place in a room with a sign that reads, "Taller Adultez Consciente," Spanish for "Conscious Adult Workshop."

Inside, counselors help students cultivate a sense of self-worth and independence. However, the experiences of the central characters in the outside world seldom reflect those lessons. "I'm sick of school. So bored. I've been here for 40 years... I can't do the same thing my whole life." So says Anita, an older woman and longtime trainee. Yet the film is often humorous and joyful.