IDFA - Daniel & Paper Stars
Anastazja Dabrowska (PL, 2016) 24'
At a summer camp for young people with Down syndrome, Daniel tries to express his feelings in a poem. A film about universal desires, friendship and brotherly love.
Daniel is at summer camp with his friends. They’re accompanied by specialized counselors, because this is a camp for young people with Down syndrome. They play sports and put on a variety show in which Daniel sings “Yesterday” by The Beatles, explaining in detail what the song is about. On the beach they take a magazine quiz about their ideal wedding. Among themselves, the boys mainly talk about love, and of course about girls – the enigmatic opposite sex that every heterosexual teenage boy finds so fascinating.
The boys drink a toast with cola as they describe the woman of their dreams, and Daniel tries to express his feelings in a poem. His best friend lends a hand, touchingly offering tender words of wisdom. The atmosphere is as languid and dreamy as the summer itself in this film about universal desires, friendship and brotherly love.
Inna Omelchenko (RU, 2016) 41'
Thirteen-year-old Alina makes new friends at summer camp, falls in love and shares secrets. But bonding doesn’t come as easily to everyone.
Thirteen-year-old Alina is going to summer camp. There, she shares a room with five other girls and takes part in the daily activities, which include games on the beach and lots of sports. At first she hangs back, hesitant, but she quickly finds her place in the group. She makes new friends, flirts with boys at the camp, dances in the evenings to loud music and shares secrets with her roommates. But it’s not so easy for everyone to find a place in the social structures of the camp. For Polina, the summer camp isn’t as warm and friendly as she’d hoped. Failing to connect with the other girls and feeling homesick, she withdraws into her own world.
Paper Stars is a Russian coming-of-age film that, thanks to its direct camera style, is able to present an intimate, sensitive impression of teenage girls in a new environment where they feel unsure.