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‘I don’t know what you’re thinking. Give me a clue …’
Jamie has a rich personality – he’s empathetic, funny, and a lover of some of the finer things in life, including music, food and clowns. But because he has Down’s syndrome and is close to nonverbal, his internal world is all but a mystery to his loving family. In Music and Clowns, Jamie’s brother, the UK filmmaker Alex Widdowson, speaks openly with his mother and father about the many challenges and blessings of having Jamie in their lives, including plans for his brother’s future, after his parents have died. Melding eclectic animation styles with home video footage, Widdowson’s touching film captures the subtleties of his family’s dynamics, with Jamie at the centre. In doing so, Widdowson aims to counter the notion that people with Down’s syndrome are a burden to their families, writing: ‘Jamie has enriched our lives and I believe a society can be measured by its capacity to nurture those who are most vulnerable.’
Philosophy of mind
Forget babbling and toddling – mindreading is babies’ most incredible skill
Sex and sexuality
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Film and visual culture
A Palme d’Or-winning animation toys with the way our eyes perceive light
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Nature and landscape
An afternoon with hobbyist diamond miners in Arkansas is a thing of rare beauty
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Meaning and the good life
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Philosophy of mind
Caring for the vulnerable opens gateways to our richest, deepest brain states