Innocence. That is a loaded word. What does it mean? Does it depend on who says it? Each of us probably has our own definition of what it means. When you complicate those already murky waters with Down Syndrome then you have something which is tricky.
Tricky in the aspect of how we see a person with Down Syndrome. It is not usually positive. Most think of them as people who are held back by their disability not someone who brings a richness to the world. We underestimate them. It takes a film like this to educate us. To show that they are as varied as everyone else.
Here director Ben Reid challenges plenty of stereotypes. In a mere 18 minutes. Reid is obviously invested in his subject. He has a brother named Tommy who has Down Syndrome and obviously knows the variety within the population.
At a care home there has been a death. A death which leads the police to want to investigate. A worker (Richard Glover – Into the Woods, Darkest Hour) at the care home has fallen from a window to his death. The police arrive the next day to investigate. A female detective (Alice Lowe – Hot Fuzz, Sometimes Always Never) has captured an image from the cameras outside the home and it is of a resident (Tommy Jessop). Their conversation reveals a lot, but not all of what went on.
In a short time frame the film plays with our notions of innocence and what a person with Down Syndrome is capable of. Both are given a wide birth here.
It is important that everyone at one time or another can see themselves up on the screen. That they are being represented in an accurate way. All of us are capable of good and bad depending on the circumstances/situation. Doing something bad does not make you a bad person. Also, shows that to be underestimated because of a perceived disability is a mistake. Only the person who makes such assumptions will be the fool.