SUMMARY: Adam Elliot reminiscences about his cousin who had cerebral palsy.
WHY IT’S HERE: Adam Elliot’s first professional film is the middle film in a wonderful, heartfelt, darkly comic trilogy about family that began with his student film ‘Uncle’. While ‘Uncle’ was a fictionalised series of remembrances loosely based on Elliot’s many uncles, ‘Cousin’ focuses specifically on Elliot’s real cousin who has cerebral palsy. Although it doesn’t go into great detail about the condition, ‘Cousin’ aims instead to give a glimpse of the life of a specific child with cerebral palsy, how he coped with the condition and how it effected his relationships with others. What makes this such a well-written piece is that the cerebral palsy is almost incidental to the film. It is the reason behind many of the actions that occur but it is the events and relationships that are of most interest to both director and audience. Like ‘Uncle’ before it, ‘Cousin’ is a richly multi-layered piece which is neither depressing nor uplifting but thoroughly engaging.