Tuesday, April 3, 2007
My Favorite Child
This video documentary by Roger M. Richards is the story of Dwight Core Jr. and his family.
It is based on the home movie, "Think of Me First as a Person," which portrays the love a boy with Down syndrome shares with his four sisters, but also a heartache common to the era's disabled: leaving home for an institution. In December 2006, decades after filmmaker Dwight Core Sr. shot the first frame, the film won a special honor: one of only a handful of amateur movies accepted into the Library of Congress.
The little boy, Dwight Core, Jr., is now a tall, 47-year-old man who enjoys coloring and watching television in the living room of the Ocean View section of Norfolk, Virginia home he shares with one of his sisters, Cindy Klingler.
The film might all still be sitting in a dusty box somewhere if not for Dwight Sr.'s grandson, George Ingmire. Two years ago, he started rummaging through a tangle of film spools he inherited after his grandfather's death in 1995.
The 38-year-old filmmaker knew Dwight Sr. had shot some murder mysteries in the ' 50s and was hoping to find them for an annual home movie festival in New Orleans, where he now lives.
Instead, an unexpected audio tape caught his attention. On it, his grandfather's voice is telling a story. Trying to explain. Describing his son, Dwight Core Jr., Ingmire's uncle.
"D is small for his age but very strong," the narrator says. "His hair is sandy blond and cut short. His bright, almond-shaped blue eyes and tiny ears do not miss a thing."
Ingmire pulled film strips from the box, held them up to a lamp and soon found footage of a boy with a buzz haircut that seemed to go with his grandfather's audio tape. Then images of four other children: the sisters to the boy, one of them Ingmire's mother.
He began piecing the film and his grandfather's words together.
In the documentary 'My Favorite Child', Roger M. Richards brings the story of the Core family into the present.