Watch Kids' Reviews of
OLE, BENNI AND THE REST OF THE UNIVERSE

What to know: Beautiful coming-of-age story about fighing off social pressure.
OLE, BENNI AND THE REST OF THE UNIVERSE is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 8-15
23 minutes
TV
ANNA LUDWIG
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OLE, BENNI AND THE REST OF THE UNIVERSE cover image
A beautiful coming-of-age story, Ole, Benni and the rest of the universe presents a unique perspective to including everyone and to fight off social pressure.

Ole is an 11-year-old kid who has to face the decision of staying friends with Benni, who has Down syndrome, or distance from him to stop being bullied by his swim class mates. Added to this is that he also has fallen in love with Lucy, which makes his decision of being friends with Benni even more complicated.

The continuity of the story is great because it shows what a good relationship Benni and Ole have and all the activities that they do together. But this changes as Ole becomes bullied and shamed for being friends with Benni, just because he has Down syndrome. There is a struggle, but the ending highlights the message of the film, and it shows character growth from Ole.

The camera work in this film is very high quality. All the colors are vibrant and vivid, and the camera angles show the various elements of each scene which helps the continuity of the movie. The locations vary throughout the film. We see that Benni and Ole are neighbors, and that they dream of becoming astronauts someday. They visit an abandoned building where they have built their own spaceship. We also see them interact in their swim class and in at school. The background music is well selected, enhancing scenes, such as when the boys are playing in the spaceship. The music becomes soft and dreamy, adding to the overall tone of the scene with them dreaming and thinking they are in space. So, in the moments of conflict, the music becomes stronger and louder to add to the drama of the moment. The main character of this film is Ole (Leopold Schill); the story centers on him and his experiences during that time of his life. I love the camera work of this film. It is such in high quality that it brings out all of the details and colors in each scene. The scene in which they first show the spaceship is an example of this, because every single element in the object feels vibrant and I could appreciate all the details that went into making the spaceship.

The message of the film is that we should not give into social pressure, and definitely not sacrifice friendships or relationships just because other people may not like it or make fun of them. You should know that it contains some mild profanity. There are scenes where Benni is referred to with the r-word, which is a slur toward people with developmental disabilities. Also, Ole says the s-word many times in the movie.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 15, plus adults. This movie shows a reality that many children may face if they interact with someone who has Down syndrome. They may be bullied or feel like outsiders because of that. People with disabilities are still humans and deserve the respect and the opportunities that we all have and deserve. Showing this film to youth and families can serve as a reminder to not give in to social pressure and to learn about quality in friendships. Reviewed by David O., KIDS FIRST!

A beautiful coming-of-age story, Ole, Benni and the rest of the universe presents a unique perspective to including everyone and to fight off social pressure.

Ole is an 11-year-old kid who has to face the decision of staying friends with Benni, who has Down syndrome, or distance from him to stop being bullied by his swim class mates. Added to this is that he also has fallen in love with Lucy, which makes his decision of being friends with Benni even more complicated.

The continuity of the story is great because it shows what a good relationship Benni and Ole have and all the activities that they do together. But this changes as Ole becomes bullied and shamed for being friends with Benni, just because he has Down syndrome. There is a struggle, but the ending highlights the message of the film, and it shows character growth from Ole.

The camera work in this film is very high quality. All the colors are vibrant and vivid, and the camera angles show the various elements of each scene which helps the continuity of the movie. The locations vary throughout the film. We see that Benni and Ole are neighbors, and that they dream of becoming astronauts someday. They visit an abandoned building where they have built their own spaceship. We also see them interact in their swim class and in at school. The background music is well selected, enhancing scenes, such as when the boys are playing in the spaceship. The music becomes soft and dreamy, adding to the overall tone of the scene with them dreaming and thinking they are in space. So, in the moments of conflict, the music becomes stronger and louder to add to the drama of the moment. The main character of this film is Ole (Leopold Schill); the story centers on him and his experiences during that time of his life. I love the camera work of this film. It is such in high quality that it brings out all of the details and colors in each scene. The scene in which they first show the spaceship is an example of this, because every single element in the object feels vibrant and I could appreciate all the details that went into making the spaceship.

The message of the film is that we should not give into social pressure, and definitely not sacrifice friendships or relationships just because other people may not like it or make fun of them. You should know that it contains some mild profanity. There are scenes where Benni is referred to with the r-word, which is a slur toward people with developmental disabilities. Also, Ole says the s-word many times in the movie.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 15, plus adults. This movie shows a reality that many children may face if they interact with someone who has Down syndrome. They may be bullied or feel like outsiders because of that. People with disabilities are still humans and deserve the respect and the opportunities that we all have and deserve. Showing this film to youth and families can serve as a reminder to not give in to social pressure and to learn about quality in friendships. Reviewed by David O., KIDS FIRST!

Ole's friend Benni has Down syndrome. But that never bothered Ole. Until the big swimming leisure time is approaching and the other children in the club don't want Benni to come with them. Because now Ole has to choose one side. The fact that Ole is in love for the first time doesn't make things any easier ...That his friend Benni has the Down syndrome, Ole (11) has never disturbed so far. But now - on the threshold of childhood to youth - their friendship is changing. Ole is in love for the first time and suddenly it's no longer easy to stand by his friend ...
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