short film review: ‘IAN’

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Ian was born with cerebral palsy. All he wants is to make friends, although it seems impossible to achieve when discrimination and bullying keep him away from his beloved playground.  However, this young boy is determined and won’t give up easily.

Director: Abel Goldfarb | writer: Gastón Gorali | producer(s): Gastón Gorali 

Award-winning director Abel Goldfarb helms this beautiful animated short film that shines a devastating light on disability and inclusivity.

 The red herring that children can be cruel, lacking in empathy towards things they do not understand is evident – but what Goldfarb and award-winning co-writer and producer, Gaston Gorali, want to draw our attention to here is an altogether more polarising problem.

Ian’s disability isn’t and shouldn’t be an issue – but without the tools in place that allows him to integrate and feel included, the repercussions are devastating. The film takes inspiration from an authentic source: Ian, a young Argentine boy with cerebral palsy, whose mother was so appalled by the bullying her son faced at his rehabilitation facility, challenged his school only to realise that no tools were in place to tackle the problem. So she penned a children’s book of the same name, in the hopes of kickstarting a conversation on the importance of tackling societal taboos and drawing awareness to making those with disabilities visible and included.

The message is clear: children will always be children, unaware and inexperienced unless lead.  Until the adults of the world open up a dialogue and educate on empathising, compassion and acceptance – then we are complicit in the exclusion of children like Ian from the everyday world.

A radiantly animated, heart-fluttering film, with a gorgeous and simplistic music composition, Ian is an empowering story with a strong sense of hope for a better future for the next generation. I for one, am here for it.