Text type: Short Film (2009 Tropfest Winner)
Composer: Genevieve Clay
Genevieve Clay-Smith graduated from Australian Film Television and Radio School and served as a director at Beyond Vision and as a production assistant at ABC Television.
A young man’s charm and charisma challenges the prejudices of a stranger at a bus stop, as well as the common misconceptions of society.
This short film deals with society and people with disabilities feeling displaced within their community due to prejudices and misconceptions that are placed upon them. It also displays the notion of disconnection and isolation within the family home of the main character and his brother. The viewer develops a strong connection to the idea of alienation and begins to understand the importance of acceptance and relationships.
The United States Centre for Disease Control defines Down Syndrome as a condition in which a baby is born with an extra chromosome which affects the baby’s mental and physical appearance. Australian Director, Genevieve Clay-Smith presents “Be My Brother,” a short film about a boy with Down Syndrome named Richard (Gerard Odwyer) whose zest for life wins the affections of a beautiful girl named Amanda (Megan Cooper.)
“Be My Brother” opens with Amanda waiting on a bus stop when Richard arrives and insists upon engaging her in a friendly conversation. Amanda is hesitant at first, but soon realizes that Richard’s interviewing questions are followed by entertaining commentary that she just can’t resist. Damien (Patrick Magee,) initially refuses to join in the fun yet by the end of the film, viewers see tremendous growth in his character. Smith captures shots of Damien wanting to bond with his fellow bus riders and his own brother by the end of the film.
Dressed in a long coat and armed with a tape recorder, Richard is determined to enjoy life and to bring as many people along for the ride as possible. Although Amanda is meeting Richard for the first time, she is sure to never forget him. Before their encounter, she had a negative disposition and seemed disconnected from the world and judgemental of people within it.
Clay-Smith challenges the viewer to examine the prejudices that many people subconsciously harbor about others based on their appearances. It is really difficult not falling in love with Richard and by the end of the film; viewers are compelled to say “awe” at how the characters move each other.
Related Text – Activities
Complete the following activities which will assist you in making connections between this text and the set text, AND the rubric.
1. Link to SET TEXT
Make a list of similarities between Be My Brother and The Black Balloon. (You can do this with a partner)
In both texts, the disabled boys have a disconnected relationship with their brothers the disabled boys have change one another perceptions there’s a person that interacts with the disabled boys and it shows that other people accept them for who they are there’s another person that shows acceptance and therefore opens up the boys perceptions and views of the disabled boys the boys feel embarrassed by their brothers disabilities
Everyone they know in the film has challenged their perceptions in the beginning it shows how society perceive people with disabilities, often as “weird” and “odd”.
The boys didn’t want to do anything that’s got to do with their brothers’ in the beginning of the film both split heros have a mental disability, its is a catalyst fr their disconnection to sibling and he world. secondary characters in both text change their perceptions/outlook/view on others brothers of the person with disability (thomas and Damien) both feel burden and disadvantaged in life because of their brothers both text includes a single individual who represents society and ther perceptions and attitudes towards people with a disability in both text there