Petra's Poem

Based on a poem recited by Petra Tolley, a young artist with Down Syndrome, Petra’s Poem is a documentary short that takes a unique look at what it is like living with Down Syndrome. As an independent person with Down Syndrome, Petra finds herself stuck “in the middle” of society. She finds herself isolated as she struggles to identify her role within modern society. An interesting piece of performance art, the film as offers much to think about visually as it does verbally. The film blends live action and animation to emphasize Petra’s conflict. In the live action sequences, all the actors involved are persons with Down Syndrome. However, director Shira Avni uses these actors to represent both those living with Down Syndrome and those in “regular” society. As Petra’s Poem is basically Petra working out her own issues, the film is more concerned with posing questions than providing answers. Which works well for this short as the goal of film is not about evoking pity, but rather generating discussion on an issue that often goes unnoticed.