DinaSundance London 2017
Dina follows the ordinary for couple Dina Buno and Scott Levin, creating the unexpected in the eyes of the audience, which feels dissimilar to watching a regular documentary. Directed by Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles, the shots are intimate and personal, reminding the viewer more of a large budget drama. Each shot feels meticulously thought out, with an understanding of how best to frame the subject of each image. This intimacy is one of the film’s greatest assets, bringing the spectator along with the journey of Dina and Scott as they get married and go on their honeymoon. Throughout the documentary we learn more about both subjects’ autism and about Dina’s troubled past.
Dina is the centre point of this story; the opening consists of her asking the assistant in the dentist’s office to hold her hand while the procedure happens. From witnessing this simple act our empathy builds as the film continues. We see her to be a strong and incredibly brave woman who has overcome many tragic events; she chooses not be defined by these actions but by the way that she survived them. As the audience, we collect pieces of her past while following her journey, learning more about the intricacies of her everyday life.
This is a love story like the ones that Hollywood adores, about the turmoil of feeling insecure or the fear that one’s partner might be more interested in their phone than in the conversation, but it is shown through the lives of people with a developmental disability. One of the most important subjects tackled here is that of autism and sex, which is seen as a taboo topic. While Dina wants to be intimate with Scott, he is unable to provide that part of the relationship, so the film explores how a couple can work through such issues. In doing so, this story humanises those who are often ostracised by society. Dina is an intimate portrayal of a couple through a cinematic lens that combines to create an interesting and unique documentary.
Dina does not have a UK release date yet.
For further information about Sundance London 2017 visit here.
Read more reviews from the festival here.