You are four and have two sisters. Then, one afternoon your parents announce that you are going to have a brother and that he will be very special. You are exultant because to you “special” means “superhero." After his birth, you realize that he does not have superpowers. Then, you discover the word “Down.”

Mio Fratello Rincorre I Dinosauri

Every family has a place to communicate important news: that of the Mazzariol family is a parking. The entire family is present: for the surprising announcement: a little brother is on the way. Jack is ecstatic: his sisters’ tyranny is coming to an end. The baby is born, but something is not quite right. Jack senses it from the fake smiles on his parents’ faces. But they explain that little Gio is special: he has Down syndrome. His sisters cringe, but not Jack: ‘special’ means superhero! He only has to figure out what his super-powers are. Throughout childhood, the two are inseparable, until the day when an unsurmountable ‘villain’ called adolescence appears. Jack acknowledges his brother’s illness, his diversity, his daily ordeal of medicines and is embarrassed by his bizarre behavior. His reaction is to escape by enrolling in a high school, far from his town, his family, and especially from his brother’s ‘problems.' Vitto follows him, albeit reluctantly. At high school’s crowded corridors and bustling courtyard, Jack discovers that he is the ‘different’ one, and tries to be accepted by the ‘cool’ kids and by Arianna, Jack’s first crush. How is a cool girl like Arianna ever going to fall in love with the ‘Down’s brother’? The answer to this question makes him shiver: in high school, reputation is worth more than gold and having a brother who runs around chasing imaginary dinosaurs, is not the kind of thing that makes you popular. Once again, Jack ‘escapes’ by denying the very existence of Gio. Vitto is shocked at his best friend’s behavior. However, Jack learns that lying is easy but keeping up appearances is not. But things are about to get much worse: Gio wants to become a YouTuber and films himself on the phone and then uploads the videos on the internet. Videos that, include Jack….And Jack loves his brother, his oddities and his unsettling candor, and the more he realizes that, the more the lie he has built weighs down on him. But it’s too late to go back now. In a desperate act, he deletes the videos that is now-former best friend Vitto set up for Gio, and even has a Nazi group take responsibility for the act through an anonymous letter against disabled people. The plan works, perhaps even too much: the Mazzariol family organizes a protest, involving the entire village and even a student collective from the nearest city helmed by…. Arianna! Jack is in a panic: everyone discover the inconvenient truth and scornfully turn away from him. Everyone but for Gio. Perhaps, in his disarming naiveté, Gio didn’t understand what happened, or perhaps he’s the only one who really understood. As he looks at his brother, Jack finally understands the reason for his ‘escape’: fear of losing his brother too soon, plain and simple fear. The newfound relationship with his brother kick- starts a chain events that leads Jack to be forgiven by his family, his friends and Arianna.

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