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Drona & me

19 min / documentary / 2009 / The Netherlands

filmmaker: Catherine van Campen

“This is my brother Drona,” 12-year-old Arjun tells us in voice-over. Drona, who’s nine, is crazy about buses and knows the entire Amsterdam bus network by heart. He is also autistic, a fact that can prove complicated for his older brother: “Sometimes it’s tough that he has no friends of his own.”

Serious conversations between brothers or kicking the ball around are also more difficult than they should be. For that, you need a “normal” brother. According to Arjun, “I don’t think he knows something’s wrong with him. You never hear him talk about it.”

Drona wants to be a bus driver when he grows up, but his brother is worried: “Sometimes I wonder where he’ll end up after high school. What will happen to him?” We follow Drona and his brother at home, at school, at the hairdresser, and on the soccer field. By looking at the matter through Arjun’s eyes, Drona & Me addresses the complex subject of autism in a clear and loving fashion. The film is in black-and-white, unless Drona is riding in his preferred method of transportation — then his world turns to color and the chaotic, everyday noises disappear.

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