This doc will break your heart at least twice. It follows Dina as she prepares to marry her boyfriend – both are on the autism spectrum.
All love stories are a little bit different and a little bit the same. That also goes for Dina and Scott, the mentally challenged couple whose relationship is explored by this gently provocative and moving American doc. At 48, Dina, whose various health issues include living with Asperger’s, is embarking on her second marriage. We watch as she and Scott get to know each other, whether by taking a day trip to a New Jersey boardwalk or by spending their wedding night taking a bath together in a giant champagne glass. It’s all at once insightful, respectful, sad and, yes, funny, but never in an exploitative way.
It’s rare for filmmakers to get so close to any couple, but a special sort of caution comes with watching the intimate lives of people whose view of the world (and, perhaps, privacy) might be far from our own. Luckily, directors Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles (who won a Sundance prize for ‘Dina’) confront this minefield with sensitivity and artistry. Their film feels like a drama at times, with its careful, soft colouring, still framing and dialogue so good that you think it must have been made up.
Dina and Scott’s coupling brings special challenges: she loves talking about sex while he’s coy on the subject, if willing to learn. She has a history of troubled past relationships that still bears down on her; he’s been living with his parents. But if anything, this doc reminds you that all relationships are strange, hopeful experiments in intimacy. And it’s that same hope the filmmakers lend to Dina and Scott’s story: you find yourself willing them along, wanting their marriage to work. You end up feeling honoured to have shared these special moments with them.
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Beautifully filmed movie about Dina, a women of courage, strength and resilience. She faces with pure honesty the good and bad that has come her way. The trust that was developed between Dina and the filmmakers is not anything I’ve ever seen in a documentary. It is because of that, we are able to see Dina and Scott’s story with care, concern and at times humor.