S.A.M. – Review

Sam (Sam Retford) is a teenage boy having trouble with his mother, she always takes him for granted and makes him feel like he’s alone. Sam (George Webster) is a teenage boy with Down Syndrome who’s got the opposite problem, his family always make him feel like he can never be alone and always needs to be looked after just because of his disability.

Then one day the two boys meet each other on a park swing and they find a common bond and enjoy spending time together, so much so that eventually the comfort of each other’s company turns into love.

S.A.M. is a short film written and directed by Neil Ely and Lloyd Eyre-Morgan made in association with Mencap in order to raise awareness about the misconceptions about disabled people and their views on love and relationships. Having disabled people behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera helps to portray this unique tale of disability as it should be told – with authenticity and understanding.

S.A.M. is indeed authentic and the portrayal of both of the main character’s lives may strike a chord with many, including disabled and non-disabled alike. The setting for the film is just as ordinary a place as you’d find anybody and so setting it in such an open place gives the audience a feeling that these kinds of stories are happening all over the country, even all over the world. The dialogue never feels forced and the situations that both Sams find themselves in feel like a part of the everyday rather than something made specifically to make a point.

It’s good to go into S.A.M. knowing nothing about what happens, because that’s when the film may surprise people as it shows the relationship between the two characters evolving. There’s no inspirational message or forced moment of triumph, it just shows the characters as they are and that’s exactly as it should be. S.A.M. is a short film with a message, but the message should already be clear if audiences stopped thinking about the things they think they know about disabled people.

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Joel found out that he had a talent for absorbing film trivia at a young age. Ever since then he has probably watched more films than the average human being, not because he has no filter but because it’s one of the most enjoyable, fulfilling and enriching experiences that a person can have. He also has a weak spot for bad sci-fi/horror movies because he is a huge geek and doesn’t care who knows it.


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