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I am very careful to make clear that What Is It? is not a film about Down Syndrome, but my psychological reaction to the corporate restraints that have happened in the last 20 to 30 years in filmmaking. Specifically, anything that can possibly make an audience uncomfortable is necessarily excised, or the film will not be corporately funded or distributed. This is damaging to the culture, because it is the very moment when an audience member sits back in their chair, looks up at the screen, and thinks to their self, "Is this right what I am watching? Is this wrong? Should I be here? Should the filmmaker have made this? What is it?," and that is the title of the film. What is it that is taboo in the culture? What does it mean that taboo has been ubiquitously excised from this culture's media? What does it mean to the culture when it does not properly process taboo in its media? It is a bad thing when questions are not being asked, because these kinds of questions are when people are having a truly educational experience. So What Is It? is a direct reaction to the contents of this culture's media.

We shot It Is Fine! while I was still completing What Is It? This is partly why What Is It? took a long time. I feel It Is Fine! will probably be the best film I will have anything to do with in my entire career.

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  Topics: Features , Brown University, Crispin Glover, Down Syndrome,  More more >
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ARTICLES BY ROB TURBOVSKY
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