True/False Film Festival 2017: DINA – Review – We Are Movie Geeks


True/False Film Festival 2017: DINA – Review

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True False - Dina

Many of the films at this year’s True/False Film Festival spotlighted men and women who have been pushed to the margins but continue to fight for their voice to be heard. Whether it’s a film about young women in Copenhagen revealing their stories about sex and love (VENUS) or the men and women from the city of Ferguson protesting in the streets (WHOSE STREETS?), this year’s selection of films told the stories of those that are often ignored.

Dina Buno is one of those voices that is often ignored by society. DINA is an earnest look at a woman living with disabilities – both mental and physical. She lives with Asperger’s, depression, OCD, and aspects of Autism (as we later learn while she gets her nails done). But she has also fallen victim to physical trauma that is slowly hinted at throughout the film, until a reveal later on that is downright chill-inducing.

Dina’s quirks and eccentricities are the focus for the first 20 mins or so, and the experience grows to be a little redundant. You begin to think that the entire film will be structured in this slice of life fashion due to this extended introduction. It’s through her relationship with her fiance who also lives with many of the same mental disabilities that a story begins to surface. The focus on their romantic journey reveals issues of communication, trust, and intimacy – pillars in every relationship that are relatable to all.

DINA teeters on being a little too precious as it presents the anticipation to the big day, including a montage of the two separately preparing for their wedding day that would fit perfectly in a John Hughes’ film (it’s even set to a standout 80s track). Sequences of them going on excursions to the beach or watching tv at home are favored more than the standard interview format. Directors Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles’ presentation resembles a quirky romantic comedy more than a straight-ahead documentary. Even though the directors’ hands are felt throughout, it’s still a winning approach that elicits all of the emotions one would experience while watching a sweet Hollywood tale of the good girl trying to find love.

Coming off of just winning the Grand Prix for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, True/False was the second film festival DINA has screened at and will more than likely continue to make the rounds before its scheduled release this fall. DINA presents a character that many will fall in love with, both for her innocently brazen comments and her strength against overwhelming odds.


Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5

DINA is scheduled to open nationwide fall 2017.




I enjoy sitting in large, dark rooms with like-minded cinephiles and having stories unfold before my eyes.