On May 3, 2016 in a New York City delivery room, moments before Hilda Bernier held her son, Emilio, for the first time, her husband, Olivier, stood by with his camera — not realizing it was still rolling.
And while it did, it captured footage that took him a year to watch.
In it, the doctor says to the couple, “Hey guys, congratulations.”
“Thank you,” Mr. Bernier replies.
“You have a beautiful baby boy, nice and vigorous breathing by himself,” the doctor continues, before adding, “A couple things we noticed.”
He points out the infant’s slightly up-slanted eyes, widened toes and the crease on his palms — subtle findings that pointed toward Down syndrome.
“Oh, no,” Ms. Bernier laments, off screen, from her hospital bed.
“I’m sorry to say this, but I think it’s important we tell you right away, even if we’re not sure,” the doctor says, “just so you guys … you guys know.”
In an instant, the couple’s lives changed in ways they couldn’t begin to fathom — in ways only even seen by other parents of children with disabilities. But through his film, “Forget Me Not” — which opened the Human Rights Watch Film Festival on Wednesday, May 19, and follows the stories of families like his own, including the Killorans of Remsenburg — Mr. Bernier seeks to remedy that.Read More