Location: Concordia CC - Hoge Zand 42, Den Haag
Date: April 21, 2023
As 3-year-old Emilio prepares to start school, his family finds itself embroiled in a challenge all too common for children with disabilities – to secure the right to an inclusive education. Cornered in one of the most segregated education systems, New York City public schools, filmmaker Olivier and his wife Hilda turn the camera on themselves and their child with Down syndrome, as they navigate a byzantine system originally designed to silo children with disabilities.
Emilio’s parents learn from other families who have fought against the injustices built into the educational system while they continue their own battle for their son’s future.
Forget Me Not reveals a path to a more inclusive society that starts with welcoming diversity in the classroom.
“Inclusion early on almost guarantees inclusion later on. But segregation early on almost guarantees segregation in the rest of life.” -Sara Jo Soldovieri
In “Forget Me Not”, parents and filmmakers Olivier and Hilda Bernier share the personal impact of NYC’s segregated education system as they fight for their son’s Emilio’s right to be educated alongside his peers.
What is inclusive education? Inclusive education is a model that embraces the human and legal right for children with disabilities to learn beside their non-disabled peers, creating opportunities for people with disabilities to engage in society.
About the film Forget Me Not intimately documents a family’s fight to have their son with Down syndrome included in the country’s most segregated school system, the New York City public school system. Propelled forward by others’ struggles and successes, Forget Me Not offers a rare look at what a truly inclusive education can look like and how it can lead to a more inclusive society so that everyone has the opportunity to achieve their full potential.
Director’s statement Films can put a dent in the world. It was a short film in 1972 that led to the eventual closure of most of America’s institutions for people with disabilities. With Forget Me Not, I would like to continue that progress by amplifying the voices of the least heard segment of our population, people with intellectual disabilities. This film aims to break down the social and systemic barriers that routinely segregate and hide them from society. When my son, Emilio, was born with Down syndrome, I was utterly unprepared. I had never had the opportunity to meet anyone with an intellectual disability growing up. I kept asking myself how this could be. It soon became apparent that they had been hidden from me, so I began to explore what the alternative could be – a world where all children can learn with each other and from each other in the same classroom. I set out to make Forget Me Not as a starting point for the parents of typically developing children, educators, and policymakers who may be learning about the concept of inclusive education for the first time. It was important that the film felt accessible, engaging, and relatable to anyone watching. In sharing some of my family’s most intimate moments, I hope that the film will create awareness, inspire conversation, and eventually help build a more inclusive society. We want to shine a light on these issues by making a film that connects with a wide audience, beyond the disability community, including those who feel marginalized or discarded for various reasons.
18.00-19.30 TransitieCinema Dinner buffet (buy an online ticket for the dinner before April 19th!)
19.30 Documentary Screening
21.15 Q&A with experts, including "Samen naar School Den Haag"
22.00 Drinks and discussion
Admission to the movie is FREE (but we appreciate donations!)
Make sure to arrive on time, the doors are closed when the movie starts or the venue is at full capacity.
DINNER is optional; vegan and organic; you can buy your ticket online here
The movie and event are in English