Anita is the story of a young woman with Down syndrome (Alejandra Manzo) who lives a happy, routine life in Buenos Aires, being meticulously cared for by her mother Dora (Academy Award ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Dora
Luis Luque ...
Felix
Leonor Manso ...
Nora
Peto Menahem ...
Ariel
...
Anita
Marcela Guerty
Mercedes Scápola ...
(as Mercedes Scapola)
Mateo Cho
Mei Lan Chen
Huang Hui Shion
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Sixto
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Storyline

Anita is the story of a young woman with Down syndrome (Alejandra Manzo) who lives a happy, routine life in Buenos Aires, being meticulously cared for by her mother Dora (Academy Award nominee Norma Aleandro). One tragic morning in 1994, everything changes when Anita is left alone, confused and helpless after the nearby Argentine Israelite Mutual Association is bombed (the deadliest bombing in Argentina's history). As Anita wanders through the city, she learns not only to care for herself, but touches the lives of those around her, from an alcoholic to a family of Asian immigrants. Anita is the latest from renowned filmmaker Marcos Carnevale, director of "Elsa & Fred". Written by Menemsha Films

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Drama

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Unrated | See all certifications »
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27 August 2009 (Argentina)  »

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1.85 : 1
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A young woman alone in the city
5 August 2010 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

Anita (2009) was co-written and directed by Marcos Carnevale. In this unusual Argentinian film, we follow the odyssey of a young woman with Down syndrome. Anita, played by Alejandra Manzo, lives contentedly with her mother, Dora. (Dora is played by the wonderful actor Norma Aleandro.) A tragic event sends Anita wandering the streets of Buenos Aires, armed with little more than a smile, a few words, and a loving and trusting nature.

People with Down syndrome have a range of intelligence that allows some to function fully and independently in society. (I assume this is true of Ms. Manzo, who is a professional actor.) However, Anita is clearly not in the higher range, so that her survival skills are pretty meager, and they are tested to the full when she is lost.

She survives from day to day because people feel sorry for her, and want to help her, although not always in a way that brings them much credit. (People help her, but they help her sporadically and unwillingly.)

What keeps this film from being just a feel-good movie is that the people Anita meets aren't overly kind or effusive, and they certainly aren't saintly. The good news is that no one tries to harm or harass her--they just would rather not be bothered.

We really enjoyed this film, partly because of its interesting plot. Better yet, the movie never succumbed to the temptation to make Anita perfect, or able to mystically discern things that others cannot. She's a young woman with developmental disabilities who, like the rest of us, is doing the best she can to survive and to enjoy life.

We saw this movie at the truly outstanding Rochester Jewish Film Festival. It will work well on DVD as well. This is a must-see film for those who work in the field of developmental disabilities, but I can recommend it to everyone who wants to see a unusual and thought-provoking movie.


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