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What to know: What an inspiring and sweet story -- a story of young love, and of differently abled young people stepping out of their comfort zone to establish a relationship.
I LOVED TO SEE YOU is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 8-18
19 minutes
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I really enjoyed the film I Loved to See You because it is a wholesome and honest story that watches two determined children conquer their disabilities to build a friendship. I was inspired by the characters' cheer and confidence throughout the film.

The story follows Bruno, optimistic young boys who is often bullied or in trouble due to the fact that he is deaf. He finds a friend in his sign language coach but longs for a companion his own age. Ana is a girl who is blind and whose mother is protective of her, though very loving. Bruno and Ana form a strong bond, defying the communicational restrictions placed on them by their conditions. The film is from Brazil with dialogue in Portuguese and American Sign Language; it is subtitled in English.

The story is very fast-paced. Ana and Bruno's relationship progresses quickly, despite not being able to introduce themselves. I was constantly engaged, as the storyline moves along fast and does not drag. I was impressed by the cinematography. The camera blurs whenever the viewer can imagine the character feeling faint or overcome with emotion and the lights and darks remain fairly neutral throughout the film but are heavily contrasted during intense scenes, such as when Bruno is caught by the guard and when he wakes up in the hospital. The costumes complement the characters' personalities. For example, we often see Ana in dresses and flower headbands in bright colors. This is exactly the outfit I would picture for her with her upbeat personality. The sets are mostly neutral-colored to contrast with the fast-paced plot line. My favorite location is for the scene where Bruno decides to remove his second hearing aid after the first is ripped from his ear by the guard. Bruno is sitting at the top of a hill under a tree, all by himself. The lighting during this scene is beautiful, and the hill symbolizes how Bruno's deafness can make him feel isolated, even when he is completely surrounded by people. The sound effects are an essential part of this film, since one of the main characters is deaf. I found them satisfactory - for example, scenes from Bruno's point-of-view alternate between being muffled and clear. There is also occasionally a high-pitched ringing sound. These effects made me feel like I was in Bruno's place and it gave me a very real sense of his deafness. The special effects are not as effective as I hoped for. Occasionally, we are shown a glimpse of what Ana "sees." This is a black background with very defined, illuminated neon teal lines outlining random shapes in her sight. The lines are very sharp, rather than blurred, but very few objects in her vision are shown, which does not seem very believable. My favorite character is Bruno. Though he often finds himself alone, he enjoys his own company. He is resilient and keeps his head up, refusing to let bullies impact his life. Ana is also worth mentioning; though she is blind, she is a fierce friend who takes care of those close to her, and she has a special sense of the world. She demonstrates this when Bruno is in the middle of the road playing the flute and cannot hear the car coming up behind him. She cannot see, but she is very aware of what is happening and immediately tries to run into the road and save Bruno without taking a moment to think about herself. My favorite part of the film is the scene when Bruno makes money by playing the flute. He is an inspiration because he does not let anything get him down; he is determined and he keeps going with a smile on his face. I recommend this film because it is a wholesome and inspirational depiction of the challenges that disabled people face.

The film's message is about learning to cope with obstacles while you are waiting to overcome them - when there is a will, there is a way - if you believe in your abilities and work hard, you will find that way. Please note that there is mild violence when Bruno's hearing aid is accidentally torn off of his ear by a guard. Also, a child and a woman are hit by a car towards the end of the film. The shot is cut short before the car actually makes contact with the people, but mild graphic violence is shown in the form of bruises and smudged blood on the child's arm in a later scene.

I give I Loved To See You 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. By Elle S., KIDS FIRST!

The film, I Loved To See You, is absolutely incredible! The storyline is unique.

In a world full of different people, this storyline takes an incredible turn and showcases a different perspective from what we tend to know. It addresses the lives of a deaf boy and a blind girl, showing how disabilities don't necessarily have to bring us down, but rather, strengthen our determination. In the end, everything always works out.

This film stands out compared to other short films that I've watched - it takes a different approach and still manages to be completely engaging. I like how the young boy, Bruno, is determined to get the attention of the girl, Ana. The cinematography is fabulous - very clear, well lit, with various angles to help attract the viewer's attention. The use of sign language with the boy is well executed and so descriptive. The background music tends to be low-tuned and calm, making it effective in the storyline as it fills in any silence. I love all the characters. The relationship between Bruno and his mom is particularly warm and heartfelt. I also was deeply touched by Bruno overcoming the bullies and taking the initiative to be with Ana. Ana, on the other hand, is there for Bruno when he needs a friend the most. My favorite part is when Bruno goes to the salon and meets Laura, who has a customer that is oversharing. However, the customer isn't aware that Laura is, in fact, deaf. She makes a joke about it, adding humor to the film. The ending is so touching and truly brought tears to my eyes as these two young people find a friend in each other.

The film's message is that, regardless of who you are, you are likely to face challenges on the path you choose. However, it's your resilience that allows you to overcome them, together with the support of those that surround you on your journey, whether you've known them for a long time or have just met. Be aware that it does contain some profanity. When Bruno is being bullied at the beginning the word "Mute dick" is used to emphasize the extent of bullying.

I give I Loved To See You 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. It builds an awareness about those with multi-sensory impairment. By Eunnet C. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST!

A deaf boy falls in love with a blind girl. Now he must find a way to communicate as he discovers the world that surrounds her.
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