Monica & David: A Love Story

February 25, 2011

Many of us in the Down syndrome community have been hearing about Monica & David for some time, and we were thrilled that it finally aired on CBC’s The Passionate Eye last week on Valentine’s Day.  And what an appropriate day for its release!  This film just brims over with love – the love between Monica and David, of course, but also the fierce, protective love their families have for them. 

Monica & David was produced and directed by Monica’s cousin, Alexandra Codina, who wanted to show the world that adults who have Down syndrome desire the same opportunities for love and acceptance that we all deserve.  She certainly fulfills this goal with a film that went on to win Best Documentary at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.

The film follows the couple for about a year.  We see the celebration at their wedding and then the realities of everyday life once the honeymoon is over.  Monica and David struggle with finding employment, with illness and with a move which is overwhelming for two people so entrenched in their daily routine. 

Particularly touching are the interviews with Monica and David’s mothers.  Both became single parents shortly after their babies were born, but their devotion to their children allowed them to support them and to find the therapies necessary for Monica and David to lead productive lives.  In a very poignant interview with Monica’s  mother, Maria Elena, she begins to realize that by shielding them so much, she is indeed preventing them from becoming independent and achieving their own goals.  David, for example, wants to work in a grocery store, but the mothers won’t allow it for fear he will not be treated well by the public.

This film is a realistic portrayal of what it is like to live as an adult with a developmental disability.  Parents of children with Down syndrome struggle with the questions that are raised in the film:  What if my child wants her own children?  How can I protect him from the world?  What is going to happen to her when I am no longer here?  We can see that these issues are a major source of stress for the family, but the stresses are balanced with the joys of happy times and of being a part of a loving relationship and family.  Pretty much like the lives of everyone else.

Monica and David can now be viewed online:

Monica & David on The Passionate Eye

For more information about the DVD and the making of the film, please visit the Monica & David website:

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Maureen Braun February 26, 2011 at 10:55 am

It made me tearful just to watch the trailer.
I will watch the movie later this weekend.
Thanks, Heather.


Heather February 26, 2011 at 11:41 am

I believe it is well worth watching… it’s very touching.

Let me know if you can view it from the U.S. Sometimes because of copyright restrictions, we can’t watch American programs. I’d love to hear if you can see it!



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