In this short documentary, filmmaker Anika Lirette retraces the unusual life of her Acadian grandparents, who had 13 children. Of the 13, eight had intellectual and physical disabilities - all caused by phenylketonuria, a genetic disorder now known to be easily managed through diet. Through first-person accounts and archival photography, the film traces the history of her family as it struggled with the consequences of the disorder, at a time when the Catholic Church condemned birth control and medical services were virtually non-existent. In French with English subtitles.
This documentary was made as part of the Tremplin program, with the collaboration of Radio-Canada.
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They Had Thirteen Children..., Anika Lirette, provided by the National Film Board of Canada