‘We Can’t Be Together Forever.’ But We Can Try.


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‘We Can’t Be Together Forever.’ But We Can Try.

Oct. 3, 2023, 5:00 a.m. ET
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By Justine Martin

Ms. Martin is a filmmaker.

When I was younger, I used to babysit the twin brothers Raphaël and Rémi. They were inseparable best friends, but as the years passed I noticed that a distance was slowly starting to form between them. As they entered their teenage years, Rémi was feeling guilty about growing up “faster” than his brother, who has developmental disabilities. Raphaël struggled to follow Rémi and adapt to this new reality.

Witnessing this changing dynamic, I wanted to capture the essence of their relationship as it was, before life pulls them in different directions. In this short documentary, the brothers spend the summer swimming and playing together, echoing the togetherness of their childhood. In small moments, however, we see how Rémi is pulling away, and we sense that this might be the last summer of their shared memories. As a director, I was inspired by how the subtle changes in their relationship expose the fine line between childhood and adulthood.

Justine Martin is a director based in Montreal.

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Op-Docs is a forum for short, opinionated documentaries by independent filmmakers. Learn more about Op-Docs and how to submit to the series. Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.

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