Betania Cappato, Argentina 2021
Ema (Clementina Folmer) is a six-year-old girl diagnosed on the autism spectrum. While it is time for her to begin her schooling, none of the city schools will accept her. The only place willing to do so is in a small community on the Paraná River. Ema’s parents pack up their lives and move to the countryside to give their daughter a chance to go to school. Over time, Ema starts to show improvement mostly due to the patience of the teachers and staff of the school, the unprejudiced natures of the locals, a horse, and her friend and classmate Irene (Irene Zequin).
Based on the director’s own family, A SCHOOL IN CERRO HUESO is a touching and beautiful film about the importance of a supportive community in the lives of neurodivergent children. It is really a wonderful snapshot of rural Argentinian life and the benefits and protections that a small community can offer as opposed to the anonymity of the city. Ema is a person in this community, not merely a diagnosis and the other children treat her as such. It is in this environment that she is finally able to thrive, with the help of friends and specialists as well as the healing benefits of nature. While it was a rather fleeting and ephemeral story, it nevertheless was touching and heartfelt, no doubt due to it being based on a true story. A SCHOOL IN CERRO HUESO is a great film to watch for all of those who wish to have their hearts uplifted and have hope about the impact of simple human kindness. (RF)