One of my favorite documentaries of the year, Dina is a wonderful look at two people in love as they prepare for their wedding. They happen to both have Asperger syndrome, but that’s not important. Maybe it helps explain their eccentricities and anxieties, but otherwise, they’re just very interesting characters who seem created for a Daniel Clowes comic book. The visually muted film looks inspired by Clowes, too. Now it’s available on digital HD and On Demand platforms, which means you and your own partner can queue it up to watch for Valentine’s Day this year (and earlier and often).
In honor of the home video release, I’m happy to share an exclusive new clip from the film. This is a scene in which the title character and her mother get pedicures ahead of the wedding, and both women start to explain all the special conditions and impairments Dina suffers from — then she has a bit of an anxiety attack. Her mother obviously has had a hard time dealing with the involved behaviors over the years, shown in the reaction she has to the brief fit and sudden slight drama that arises between them in front of the salon staff. It’s an uncomfortable but vital moment for the heartfelt documentary.
Watch it here:
From our 2017 Sundance coverage (the doc won the grand jury documentary prize at the festival), Jason Gorber also praises Dina:
A love story like no other, this beautiful, subtle and engaging verité doc by Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles is glorious. We follow Dina and her boyfriend Scott Levin, both living somewhere on the Asperger spectrum, as they become closer to one another, each struggling with their own mental challenges but finding within each other a partnership that will hopefully last. In quiet ways the filmmakers allow us to discover Dina’s past, her scars both real and virtual, yet never does the film dip into melodrama or exploitation. Beautifully cinematic with carefully composed shots, the work is a testament to patient filmmaking of remarkable subjects. With perhaps the most awkward yet wonderful foot rub in cinema history, this film is humorous without being risible to its subject, moving without being mendacious. A true synergy between filmmaker and participant, Dina is a delight.