Up Syndrome

Up Syndrome poster

Most of us know what people who have down syndrome look like. Many of us have gone to school or worked with a person who has down syndrome. Society often assumes that people who have down syndrome are not capable of having a normal life, that they are "retarded". I have known many people who have down syndrome who have attended college and have seen an older couple who both had down syndrome attend a movie together without assistance from anyone. The movie Up Syndrome shows the world that people who have disabilities can have the same opportunities, same social relationships, and live within society just like anybody else.

Up Syndrome is a documentary about a 23 year-old man named Rene Moreno who has down syndrome. Rene's best friend Duane Graves is the director of the film. Duane records Rene discussing his life growing up, attending school, participating in the Special Olympics, working at a local grocery store, and spending time with his girlfriend. Duane and Rene grew up together as friends filming home-made horror movies with Rene as the star. Throughout the film, video clips and pictures are shown of various points in Rene's life.

Duane states at the beginning of the film that he was never sure why people said that his friend had "down" syndrome when it always seemed like he was so happy that they should call it "up" syndrome. Rene also states more than once that he has friends with disabilities but he is not disabled. He is also proud of all of the things that he can do such as basketball, karate, track, etc (all of which he is wayyy better at than me). When Rene loses his job and his girlfriend, it does not stop him from carrying on with his life. He continues to advocate for himself including searching for a job, keeping a calendar, and keeping busy.

The movie itself is slow moving, contains mostly clips of Rene speaking about different events, and does not flow together in an order. However, the strong point of the film is its message: that everyone has strengths and weaknesses no matter what their label.



Sounds interesting.