Original review featured on the Doha Film Institute website.
Do you remember the following scene from “Patch Adams”? In a room full of children suffering from cancer, a clown brings joy to these tiny patients, distracting them – even for a little while- from what troubles their fragile bodies.
Well, in “The Kid and the Clown”, Angus does a similar job. Actually that’s all he does, he’s a clown. He’s been working for nine years in Sekjby Sygehus, one of Denmark’s largest hospitals with children undergoing painful and rigorous cancer treatment. He visits them twice a week, doing his best to shift their attention from all the needles, injections and tests. And they wait for him, for his silly jokes, to play UNO or just run around the hospital as undercover police.
“The Kid and the Clown” concentrates on the strong friendship between Angus the clown and one of the children Tobias, a six year old with little chance of surviving through treatments.
Tobias is too little to take all that pain and requests that Angus hold his hand during excruciating procedures. At one point, Angus responds, “But don’t push too hard on my hand you might hurt me” and Tobias smiles. That adorable moment is all that Tobias needs.
The children grow up and mature a little too early. The therapeutic importance of the clown is to remind them that they’re still children. Angus doesn’t deny their condition, but uses it to make light of their illness. If a child wears a mask then it’s for some sort of secret mission. If there are tubes coming out of their heads, then aliens put them there. His responsibility is to be the anchor between emotional parents and objective doctors.
This extremely humane and emotional film will tear your heart away, but will add hope outside the labs of science to children with cancer using unconventional means. With a little dose of laughter and fun, children’s conditions and treatment have improved.
The documentary yesterday received the award of best film in the Child and Family Award in the medium length category offered by Al Jazeera Children Channel at the closing ceremony of the 8th Al Jazeera International Documentary Film Festival. Angus and director Ida Gron were present to receive the prize.