The Grendys Family
Kyle Ann Grendys
"Fraser Syndrome & Me" Screening at ReelAbilities Pittsburgh
Filmmaker Kyle Ann Grendys is only the 75th person to be born with the rare, recessive gene disorder known as Fraser Syndrome. Having always felt alone in the world, the semi-autobiographical short doc Fraser Syndrome & Me takes Grendys out into the world where she begins meeting the others who are just like her.
Along the way, much to her surprise and delight, her own parents also discover a village they never really knew they had.
At a mere 20 minutes in length, Fraser Syndrome & Me couldn't possibly cover the fullness that is Fraser Syndrome. However, Grendy's honest yet mostly uplifting documentary is a raw, authentic glimpse into the disorder that is too rare to even truly be called misunderstood.
After all, you can't really misunderstand what you don't know exists.
Fraser Syndrome & Me features a wealth of interviews as Grendys immerses herself in the world of others who live with Fraser Syndrome along with her own friends, family members, and experts in the field of Fraser Syndrome. Fraser Syndrome is characterized by developmental defects including cryptophthalmos (where the eyelids fail to separate in each eye), and malformations in the genitals (including such concerns as micropenis, cryporchidism, and/or clitoromegaly). Occasionally, malformations of the nose, ears, larynx, and renal system also appear and intellectual disabilities have been known to also manifest along with Syndactyly (fused fingers/toes).
A low budget short occasionally hindered by those same obstacles faced by nearly all low-budget shorts, such as a tinny sound mix, Fraser Syndrome & Me remains an important, engaging short film that entertains and informs throughout its running time. Grendys herself is a charismatic young woman whose personality is warm, inviting, and you can feel her genuine interest in everyone she meets. While the entire film is immensely enjoyable, it may very well be the film's closing moments that truly warm the heart and leave the true lasting impact of this project that Grendys has so successfully pulled off.
For more information on Fraser Syndrome & Me, visit the film's Facebook page linked to in the credits. For more information on the film's screening at the upcoming ReelAbilities Pittsburgh, visit the film festival's website.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic