Join us for a special webcast event to view and discuss “Tuesco,” a moving documentary film about the life of a Venezuelan family who uses dark humor to remain buoyant in exile. The title, which translates to “all fucked up,” is a nickname for Jonathan Benaim, the film’s twenty-eight year old protagonist. Jonathan uses a wheelchair due to a brain infection he suffered as a newborn at a hospital in Caracas. He now lives with his mother, grandmother, and sister in Panama.
Filmmaker Daniel Poler captures the naked, graceful simplicity at the root of something we all share: the body, its limits and desires, alone and with others. Underpinning the beauty of the film is the fact that family, whether biological or created, is a space in which we come to know ourselves. Particularly for people with bodies considered non-normative—disabled or otherwise—community is of paramount importance. “I see myself the way my family sees me,” Jonathan says. “That’s what makes me what I am.”
The film will be followed by a panel discussion around its themes and audience Q&A.
Because of the terrible situation in my country, Venezuela, my family and friends were forced to emigrate. A couple of months ago, I decided to travel to Panama and tell the story of my long time childhood friend who became wheelchair bound due to medical malpractice at birth. Growing up, Jonathan was like a brother to me, and since I can remember, his family asked me to be aware of his special needs, yet never give him a "special treatment." Dark humor was a big element inside his household and the main reason why he defies his physical limitations. Because they were used to see me with a camera in my hand all of my life, I was able to become a fly on the wall and capture the intimacy of his family dynamics. It's a true honor for me to tell Jonathan's story and show the world a different side to disability.
About the Speakers
Daniel Poler is a renowned Venezuelan exile, writer and director who currently lives in LA. He started his career in Caracas working as a local producer for a Showtime Channel series. He moved to NYC in 2015, where he directed and produced fashion commercials. Shortly thereafter, he was hired at Condé Nast Entertainment, where he crafts viral content for brands. Daniel still works for Condé Nast, but has merged all of his filmmaking and data skills to create valuable content of his own with the goal of highlighting underrepresented stories. Most recently, Daniel directed TUESCO, a comedy documentary that was acquired by The New Yorker about the life of his disabled best friend. He adapted the documentary into a scripted feature which won the Panama Film Fund and is currently in production. Daniel’s projects have received multiple Webbys, Tellys, Emmys, and one Cannes FF selection.
Jonathan Baniem is a 28-year old wheelchair user and lead of the “Tuesco” film. At first glance spectators assume his family members tending to him is a constitutive part of their universe. But soon it becomes clear that Jonathan is rotating alongside them, joking and chiding—that each of them needs the others equally. His amazing, unique charisma shines as he opens up to those around him.
Date: Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Time: 12 p.m. to 2 p.m EST
Location: Online on Zoom Webinar. Closed captioning will be provided.
Type: IHCD Global Webcast
If you have any questions or concerns or would like to request an accommodation, please email us at communications@IHCDesign.org.
This webcast is part of the IHCD International Inclusive Design Webcast Series in Memory of Eliza Forrest Kaye Bromfield. Eliza was a beloved member of the IHCD family. Through this series of public lunch & learn events that Eliza ran in her years with IHCD, we intend to honor her curiosity and enthusiasm for inclusive design. We sincerely thank her loving family for their generous support of this lecture series.