Forget Me Not (2021)

  • Documentary
  • 1h 40m

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World Digital Festival Premiere

Closed-captioning available in English and Portuguese. Please click the ‘CC’ button on the bottom right of the player to activate

For audiences who are Blind or have low-vision we have an Audio-Described version of the film to rent HERE

Presented in partnership with: Reel Abilities Film Festival New York, Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network, Chalkbeat, Cinema Tropical, Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, Inclusion International, INCLUDEnyc, Rooftop Films.

As 3-year-old Emilio is ready to start school, his family finds itself cornered in the United States’ most segregated education system - New York City public schools. Fighting for their son’s right to an inclusive education – where Emilio and other children with disabilities would be taught alongside their classmates without disabilities - film director Olivier and his wife Hilda investigate the personal stories of students and their parents in the US. With children with disabilities worldwide less likely to attend school, these experiences expose just a handful of the widespread injustices currently taking place in the educational system and beyond for kids with disabilities. Forget Me Not reveals a path to a more inclusive society that starts with welcoming diversity in the classroom.

“As a director, this is not only a story I will be telling – this is a story I am living. When I was a child, I didn’t go to an inclusive school. I was never exposed to anyone with intellectual disabilities, and I was ill-prepared for my own son’s arrival. I want to use this opportunity to make sure this never happens to anyone again.” Olivier Bernier, director, Forget Me Not

“What we’re talking about here is the society we want to have in the future in which people with disabilities are welcome. And inclusion is the beginning of that.” Thomas Hehir, film participant, Forget Me Not

  • Thank you to everyone who joined our digital film festival screening + live Q&A on May 19. You can still watch the film at your own pace until May 27, and view the recording of the Q&A with filmmaker Olivier Bernier, Hilda Bernier, Lydia X. Z. Brown, Director of Policy, Advocacy & External Affairs, Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network (AWN), Sue Swenson, President of Inclusion International, and film participant Sabrina Queenan, moderated by Carlos Rios-Espinosa, Senior Researcher and Advocate in the Disability Rights Division, Human Rights Watch here on our Vimeo page.

We do not want the cost of entry to be a barrier for participation in the festival. If the price of buying a ticket to this film would prevent you from participating, please email the following address (filmticket@hrw.org) + you will receive an auto-reply email with a free ticket code. We have set aside a set # of tickets per film on a first come first-served basis. Once the free tickets are no longer available, the code will no longer work. For anyone that purchases a ticket, we appreciate your support. Your ticket purchase enables us to make tickets free for those who might otherwise be unable to watch. This also allows the festival to support the filmmakers for sharing their work in our festival and for the festival to cover the cost of hosting the films online.

Director

Olivier Bernier

Language(s)

English

Subtitle(s)

English, Portuguese

Bonus Content

'Forget Me Not' recorded Q&A

Wednesday, May 19: Live Q&A for Forget Me Not by Olivier Bernier.

Conversation with filmmaker Olivier Bernier, Hilda Bernier, Lydia X. Z. Brown, Director of Policy, Advocacy & External Affairs, Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network (AWN), Sue Swenson, President of Inclusion International, and film participant Sabrina Queenan. Moderated by Carlos Rios-Espinosa, Senior Researcher and Advocate in the Disability Rights Division, Human Rights Watch.

'Forget Me Not' Director Introduction

An introductory video from ‘Forget Me Not’ director Olivier Bernier

'Forget Me Not' Producer Introduction

An introductory video from ‘Forget Me Not’ producer Tiffany Conklin

Exclusive interview with Sara Jo Soldovieri

Exclusive interview with Sara Jo Soldovieri, expert in inclusive education and students with Down Syndrome.

Exclusive interview with Dr. Thomas Hehir

Exclusive interview with Dr. Thomas Hehir, former professor at Harvard University, and Director of the Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education, and the former director of special education for the Boston and Chicago Public Schools.

People with Mental Health Conditions Living in Chains

Hundreds of thousands of people with mental health conditions are shackled around the world, Human Rights Watch said in a report released October 6, 2020. Men, women, and children, some as young as 10, are chained or locked in confined spaces for weeks, months, and even years, in about 60 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas.

The report, “Living in Chains: Shackling of People with Psychosocial Disabilities Worldwide,” examines how people with mental health conditions are often shackled by families in their own homes or in overcrowded and unsanitary institutions, against their will, due to widespread stigma and a lack of mental health services. Many are forced to eat, sleep, urinate, and defecate in the same tiny area. In state-run or private institutions, as well as traditional or religious healing centers, they are often forced to fast, take medications or herbal concoctions, and face physical and sexual violence.

Read more here.

Nigeria: People With Mental Health Conditions Chained, Abused

Thousands of people with mental health conditions across Nigeria are chained and locked up in various facilities where they face terrible abuse, Human Rights Watch said November, 2019. Detention, chaining, and violent treatment are pervasive in many settings, including state hospitals, rehabilitation centers, traditional healing centers, and both Christian and Islamic faith-based facilities. People with mental health conditions should be supported and provided with effective services in their communities, not chained and abused.

Read more here.

Mozambique: Education Barriers for Children with Albinism

Children with albinism face insecurity and significant obstacles to accessing quality education in the Tete province of Mozambique, Human Rights Watch said in a report released June 13, 2019. The report, “‘From Cradle to Grave’: Discrimination and Barriers to Education for Persons with Albinism in Tete Province, Mozambique” is in the form of a special web feature with video and photos.

Human Rights Watch found children living with albinism in the central Mozambican province of Tete to be widely discriminated against, stigmatized, and often rejected at school in the community, and, at times, by their own families. They struggle to overcome barriers such as insecurity, bullying, and lack of reasonable adjustments in the classroom, which violates their right to education. Although the Mozambique government has taken important steps to better protect the rights of children with albinism, it needs to do more to ensure equal access to education.

Read more here.

Kazakhstan: Education Barriers for Children with Disabilities

Most children with disabilities in Kazakhstan are not getting a quality, inclusive education, Human Rights Watch said in a report released March 14, 2018. Although the Kazakh government has taken some important steps to better protect the rights of children with disabilities, much more needs to be done to ensure equal access to education for all children. The report, “‘On the Margins’: Education for Children with Disabilities in Kazakhstan” shows that Kazakhstan’s education system segregates and isolates children with disabilities. Even for children who can access schools in their communities, most are taught in separate classrooms with other children with disabilities. Thousands are in special schools for children with disabilities, often far from their homes. Others are educated at home, with a teacher visiting for a few hours per week at best. Children in closed psychiatric institutions receive very little or no education.

Read more here.

Russia: Adult Prospects Dim for Youth with Disabilities

Russian orphanages where children with disabilities grow up often transfer them to closed state institutions for adults when they reach 18 without their consent, Human Rights Watch said December 6, 2018. Those who do move into the community often do not receive the support they need to live independently. In research from five cities in Russia in 2018, Human Rights Watch documented 28 cases in which directors of children’s orphanages forced or coerced children with a range of disabilities into adult institutions once they turned 18. When children turn 18, they are legally adults and have the right to live independently and be included in the community.

Read more here.

Nepal: Barriers to Inclusive Education

Children with disabilities in Nepal face serious obstacles to quality, inclusive education, Human Rights Watch said September 14, 2018. Despite progress in law and policy, the government segregates most children with disabilities into separate classrooms. It has yet to train teachers to provide inclusive education, in which children with and without disabilities learn together. Tens of thousands of children with disabilities remain out of school.

Read more here.

Lebanon: Schools Discriminate Against Children with Disabilities

Lebanon’s public education system discriminates against children with disabilities, Human Rights Watch said in a report released March 22, 2018. Children with disabilities are often denied admission to schools because of their disability. And for those who manage to enroll, most schools do not take reasonable steps to provide them with a quality education. Instead, many children with disabilities in Lebanon attend institutions, which are not mandated to provide an education, or receive no education at all.

The report, “‘I Would Like to Go to School’: Barriers to Education for Children with Disabilities in Lebanon,” finds that although Lebanese law bars schools from discriminating against children with disabilities, public and private schools exclude many children with disabilities. For those allowed to enroll, schools often lack reasonable accommodations, such as modifications to the classroom environment and curricula, or teaching methods to address children’s needs. Schools also require the families of children with disabilities to pay extra fees and expenses that in effect are discriminatory.

Read more here.