Anne is een van ons

Care and treatment of people labelled mentally retarded has changed radically over few decades. Until recently, it consisted primarily of incarceration in institutions where various attempts at "cures" were made.

But it can be different. Anne Pot is a 27-year old dutch woman born with Down's syndrome. She grew up in Holland with her family, went to regular public schools, and then moved with her mother to France. Anne is now bilingual and lives in a group home in Pierrelatte. She works in a center for people with mental handicaps where she met her boyfriend Alain. "Anne is one of us" is a remarkable 52 minute portrait of Anne Pot made by her brother Leendert Pot. The documentary includes conversations with family, teachers, childhood friends, and - of course - Anne herself.
Glimses of Anne's daily life are juxtaposed with footage from old home movies of Anne as a child. Anne's mother, Judith von Wandruszka, emerges from the portrait as a strong-spirited woman. In coming to grips with her daughter's mental handicaps, she resolved to provide Anne with as rich and fruitful a life as possible, despite the obstacles posed by conventional wisdom on the subject.

Speaking in a voice laden with emotion, Anne's mother says: "In retrospect, I think it's almost a blessing to have a retarded child. All my other children have their own lives now. Anne still needs me. And now that I'm old, I need her almost as much."

1989