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Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Film Review - I Didn't See You There

I Didn't See You There
Sundance Institute
/
Reid Davenport
A still from I Didn't See You There by Reid Davenport, an official selection of the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.

I Didn't See You There is playing in the US Documentary competition - 3 suns

This unique documentary comes to us via the literal POV (point of view) of the director Reid Davenport who recorded the film from his wheelchair. We, as viewers are along for the ride as Reid navigates his world; in his home, on the streets, traveling by bus and plane and interacting with people and obstacles along the way.

There is not a ton of dialogue with or monologue from Reid, but due to his difficulty articulating clearly, it did concern me that subtitles were NOT included. I admit, even with my training and experience working with special needs children and having some adults in my life who also present with this issue, it concerned me that much of what was being said would not be understood by an audience. I'm sure it was done intentionally so I was eager to watch the Q & A to see if it addressed this concern.

In the Q & A, they did not discuss the subject. However, there were subtitles during the Q & A. At times the ASL interpreter was unable to sign as she depended on reading the subtitles and within the subtitles question marks and 'undiscernible' often took the place of Reid's words.

I continue to have mixed feelings about their decision not to include subtitles in the doc. First, because I feel it is important to understand WHAT the director had to say and second, because modifications made in his world help facilitate his movement.....why wouldn't they want to make modifications to help facilitate his message? After researching, I confirmed my assumption that Reid has cerebral palsy.