THE GROWN-UPS starts off as an engaging and warm-hearted documentary spent in the company of a group of Chileans living in a boarding school for adults with down syndrome. They are charismatic, charming and although adults, some of their hopes and fears and squabbles echo those of a typical high school. As the film goes on we approach the subject of dating, at first lightly but then with more profound consequences. Because despite the evident love and commitment felt by one of the couples, they are not allowed to get married by Chilean law. This is evidently a source of deep pain and frustration - why should they have to settle for just dating, and not expressing their commitment to each other with a civil ceremony. Presumably this all relates to some kind of prejudice against them then having children who might also be "sufferers", but isn't this a deeply patronising attitude? If nothing else, THE GROWN-UPS shows just what full lives they experience and, if they were unimpeded, what happiness can be achieved. I found this to be a deeply thought-provoking and eye- and heart-opening documentary. It's lead protagonists are deeply memorable and I only hope that one day they will be able to be married.
THE GROWN-UPS has a running time of 84 minutes. The film has played the festival circuit and was released earlier this year in Chile and Denmark. It opens in France on November 15th. There are still tickets available for both screenings at the BFI London Film Festival.