Anne & Jean-Paul our World

Human Interest
couple, Down syndrome, love
52'& 80'
Leendert Pot
Award
Palmarès 2017 TRACES DE VIES Prix Regarde social - Prix Unaforis
HD
HD available

Anne & Jean-Paul, our world is a new film by Leendert Pot that reveals the life of his sister Anne (53) with her friend Jean-Paul (53).

Anne has Down’s Syndrome and Jean-Paul Fragile X Syndrome. They live together, more or less independently, in the small French town of Montélimar.

Leendert not only combines the jobs of director, cameraman, and sound engineer in the film, but he is also Anne’s care giver, guardian, and brother. The result is a deeply personal account that provides an intimate portrayal of the couple and a fascinating glimpse into their cares, joys, and travails.

The film introduces us to the couple as they move to the Montélimar apartment. In an observational style Leendert follows Anne (who is fluent in both Dutch and French) and Jean-Paul through their daily lives as partners, opening a window into their inner world and the simple logic of their thoughts. All facets are covered, from getting up in the morning, commuting to work and relaxing, to going on vacation.

The film shows wonderfully intimate moments of two people in love, caressing each other, watching television, and, yes, sometimes getting on each other’s nerves. They are aware of their autonomy and value it greatly. “We are getting along without supervision”, Jean-Paul proudly explains. But their vulnerability is always apparent. Often the effort required for this independence overtaxes their abilities and then they need help.
Now that Anne’s mother is no longer alive, most tasks connected to Anne’s support fall to her sister Meike. We see Meike struggle to maintain the delicate balance between honoring the couple’s desire to lead independent lives and their need for assistance and protection.