Through the Windows of a Spaceship

The three days spent at Full Frame are magical. It is a time where I can take on a different kind of independence and any identity: anthropologist, film critic, foodie, downtown street walker, classy festival-goer, or simply a high school senior seeing movies with friends. It’s my favorite part of the year. I meet new people, I revisit old faces. And the vastly different films I watch make it a new experience every time. I consumed a total of nine films in the short 72 hours. Every single one told a story and opened my heart.
I knew that Dina was going to be my favorite movie before I saw it. The vague description communicated a vague log line– “old people on the autism spectrum fall in love and get married” – and was enough to make me excited. The lights came down and the screen came up, and suddenly we were transported to a hazy dreamscape of pastel colors. We met Dina, more of a caricature than a tangible person. We see her interact with the world, and almost want to laugh, because this isn’t a documentary. Surely it’s a narrative film. Yet as the storyline progresses, we grow closer to two very real people who suffered through very real circumstances, from taking the wrong city bus to the beach, to domestic abuse. And it was beautiful to watch. By the end of the film, I began to question the autism spectrum, and the subconscious divisions we place in society between “us” and “them”. Because I listened to myself speak, and I sounded like Dina. Dina wasn’t separate in her experiences from anyone else. Watching the movie was refreshing in many ways, because Dina didn’t hold back in her commentary, she said what she wanted, and her fiance was able to reciprocate. They glided easily through conflict resolution. This humorous portrait of a couple’s journey made my Friday evening.
In a speakeasy I sat in, a filmmaker captured the feeling: Full Frame is like a portal to another land. It’s a place where you can peer into other galaxies and worlds through the window of your spaceship, alongside a community of caring, invested people. I couldn’t agree more. Someway, somehow, I will find my way back to Full Frame next year.

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