At the heart of Caroline Giametta’s film I Don’t Care is an incredible story about choice and a big “f*ck you” to societal pressures.
I Don’t Care is a beautiful, thoughtful and well-paced story where the most dramatic dialogues happen in the lead character’s head. Andrea Lowe’s Ollie is an expectant mother dealing with the possibility of having a child with Down Syndrome. She crosses paths with a woman looking for a gardener, and who also happens to have a daughter with Down Syndrome. Ollie takes the job with the hope that she can find out what that life is really like.
Giametta’s opening montage of textbook diagrams and Lowe’s deeply expressive emotions is gentle and genius. Without any voiceover, you can feel the start of a deeply introspective journey without it being too on the nose.
The real breakout performer, however, is first-time actress Billie-Jo Bailey, who plays Jacques, the differently abled young lady whom Ollie wants to study. Jacques’ relationship with her mother, Mandy, played by Jo Hartley, is so genuine and full of unconditional love. Yet Hartley, and Giametta’s script, refuse to pander or walk on eggshells concerning Jacques’ condition.
Giametta was inspired by Richard and Fiona Bailey’s (Billie-Jo’s parents) photographic exhibition, Shifting Perspectives. It is in this photography series that Giametta saw the line “I don’t care…” in a photo caption. It became not only the title, but the closing line of the film.
The most poignant takeaway of this film is encapsulated in that title. “I Don’t Care” may be a short film about pregnancy, but it’s a big film in its message. It destigmatizes Down Syndrome and reaffirms that a woman’s body is hers. It shows that despite a person’s circumstances, they can still live their best life and be a good person.
This film gets two points for containing a differently abled character not as a stereotype or victim, and for passing the Bechdel test.
See the whole thing below: