Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 49 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
Life Arts    H4'ed 11/20/17

Down Syndrome Siblings Tackle Himalayas

By       (Page 1 of 5 pages)   2 comments, 3 series
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Joan Brunwasser
Become a Fan
  (89 fans)

Down Syndrome Siblings Tackle Himalayas

Interview with documentary filmmaker, Yonatan Nir

"It's not about the mountain."

--Edmund Hillary

Director Yonatan Nir with Ztlil Oriel, one of the film's protagonists, India, 2013
Director Yonatan Nir with Ztlil Oriel, one of the film's protagonists, India, 2013
(Image by Yonatan Nir)
  Details   DMCA

My guest today is Yonatan Nir, director of the documentary film, My Hero Brother. Welcome to OpEdNews, Yonatan.

Joan Brunwasser: Your film won the best documentary and audience choice awards at the 2017 Santa Barbara International Film Festival as well as the Best International Director Award at the DocEdge Film Festival in New Zealand and several other awards. And I was lucky enough to see it at the recent Israeli Film Festival in Chicago.

The subject matter is quite intriguing: 11 young adults with Down Syndrome and their siblings take a two-week trip to India, including a mountain trek, high in the Himalayas. How did you happen upon this story?

Yonatan Nir: In 2012, I was finishing another film called Dolphin Boy and were looking for my next project. One evening, I watched the Israeli news and saw a report about this young Israeli named Enosh Cassel, who took his brother Hannan, who has Down Syndrome, on a one on one journey to Nepal.

I grew up on a kibbutz and with me in the same class was a girl with Down Syndrome. I always liked her so this was not entirely new for me, but something in the brotherhood between Enosh and Hannan moved me from deep inside.

Fast forward a year or so later, i got a phone call from a friend who told me about this group of young people with DS who were planning to go to India with their siblings.

It turns out that many people who have siblings with special needs saw the same report I saw and contacted Enosh. Together with his friend Itamar Peleg, who has a travel company, they founded this group and raised money to go all together on this trip.

I joined them one or two months later with my crew, aiming to create a documentary about their journey to the Himalayas and through that, to dig into their special relationship with their siblings.

detail from movie poster
detail from movie poster
(Image by Yonatan Nir)
  Details   DMCA

JB: I'm wondering how this works. Did they contact you? Or did you reach out and say, "Hey, I heard about this, it looks great and I'd like to film it?" And if it was you who made the first move, were Enosh and Itamar concerned about how the trip and its participants might be affected by being filmed?

YN: They thought it was a good idea to document the trip and actually had contact with a few other filmmakers that were interested but they didn't find the right one.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Joan Brunwasser Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Interview with Dr. Margaret Flowers, Arrested Tuesday at Senate Roundtable on Health Care

Renowned Stanford Psychologist Carol Dweck on "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success"

Howard Zinn on "The People Speak," the Supreme Court and Haiti

Snopes confirms danger of Straight Ticket Voting (STV)

Fed Up With Corporate Tax Dodgers? Check Out!

Literary Agent Shares Trade Secrets With New Writers

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend