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film review

Scott Levin and Dina Buno in Dina.

Someone's in the kitchen with Dina, but in the bedroom she may as well be alone. Dina is the uniquely compelling centre of a sympathetic, intimate-yet-respectful documentary that bears her name. The film observes her and fiancé Scott. Both are on the autistic spectrum. They have a considerate, loving relationship, but Scott's carnal inexperience and wedding-night trepidation is a cause of tension.

They sleep together, and by "sleep" I mean sleep: Scott above the covers, his back to a patient women who craves the passion he's unable to muster. He has a habit of obliviously walking ahead of her – remind you of any commander-in-chief you know?

Co-directors Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles tell the story gracefully, doling out Dina's tragic backstory in excellent increments. The trust Scott and Dina have in the filmmakers is touching. The couple's candour is unforced; such is their natural manner that the film often feels more like a quirky indie drama than a documentary. Better that it's the latter, for such humanness would be tricky to script.

The historical drama Hochelaga, Land of Souls, has been selected to represent Canada in the Oscars best foreign-language film category. Directed by Francois Girard, the film looks at historical facts behind the founding of Montreal.

The Canadian Press