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Luis Mora is a journalist and has worked as an editor and scriptwriter for 13 years at Canal +. In 2001, with The sounds of football, won the Tiflos award from ONCE for the best television report. Now he makes his directorial debut with the documentary Gifted (East of Gaussian Bell). It is a deep and critical reflection on the situation that many families with gifted children go through.
- Congratulations on the award! What led you to create and direct a documentary that focuses your gaze on gifted children?
The apparent contradiction that a high IQ can lead to failure. Everyone thinks that if someone is very intelligent they will not have problems in their life, that they will succeed socially and get a good job. The reality is usually different. The documentary focuses on the story of Ena, a gifted 8-year-old girl, who wants to learn but gets bored at school. The question was this: how can a girl who is passionate about learning fall asleep in class? We had the need to delve into that question and everything came from there.
- What arguments did you use in the documentary to bring the problems of a gifted person closer to the public? What or who did you have to confront to get the documentary out?
When you make a documentary, or anything in your life, you have to face yourself first and promise to be honest. We met many highly capable people and discovered that the prototype of Gifted child that sells television is false. They are normal people with a higher IQ, that's all. Anyone can be gifted and not know it. The documentary tries to tell the viewer: maybe you have high abilities, take an intelligence test and find out; perhaps that misunderstanding that you sometimes feel is motivated by this fact; maybe your child acts like that because he is gifted. There were many people who did not want to speak. But there were others who took the step, and there is their testimony. The academic and social failure in this type of person it is not exceptional and nobody does anything to solve it.
- Through the paths you had to travel to make the documentary, what did you discover about the situation of the gifted in Spain?
There was a startling fact that we knew nothing to start our investigation. According to the WHO, two percent of the population have high abilities, and half fail academically. A large part of them will develop disorders that can lead to depression or even suicide. It's a scary thing. The surprising thing is that knowing this circumstance the educational system does not react. We've met guys with great IQs who haven't been able to pass high school.
-What can parents of gifted children expect from the documentary? What does the documentary bring to these people? The documentary raises more questions than answers, and that seems good to me. When a person questions something, it is because they start to worry. These children have the right to a special education but in practice this is not always the case. Perhaps the most important conclusion of the documentary is to alert society and governments that there is an unsolved problem that affects many families.
- Isn't it paradoxical that gifted children, with their high intellectual abilities, suffer from problems such as school failure and low self-esteem? Does having a high IQ work against the child himself?
A high IQ is just one aspect of a child's personality. It has potential but you need to know what to do with it. If no one encourages you, if no one encourages you, if no one teaches you to use it, it will turn against you. Gifted children who do not receive special education can develop anxiety, aggression, or depression due to frustration. Let's say that a normal child needs three or four explanations to understand a problem. For a gifted child, sometimes no explanation is necessary to understand it. That's where your refusal to school. They end up associating it with a place where they always repeat the same things.
- What would you advise parents of gifted children who live in the same situation. Is there a way out, a solution for these cases?
There are two worlds of giftedness: one of parents who know that their child is gifted and the other of parents who do not know it. In the first the children can find a point of reference and a compression; in the second, children will find themselves more alone in a world they do not understand. The happiness of these children depends, to a great extent, on the parents. Parents are the voice to claim what they need. If they do not detect that your child is gifted it can be catastrophic for the child and for the family itself.
- In your opinion, are educators as well as psychologists sufficiently prepared to treat a gifted child?
Can not generalize. There are teachers and pedagogues tremendously involved, but others are not so prepared. We have interviewed teachers with 30 years of teaching who acknowledge that they have never detected a student as gifted. Obviously, surely they have ever had a child with high abilities in their class, the problem is that they have not been able to identify him. The question that arises is daunting: what happened to those children? It's no secret: there are gifted people who fill ordinary jobs or spend their entire lives without discovering that they are.
- A knowledgeable parent is the best defense of a gifted child. In this sense, do you see your proposal fulfilled with the documentary?
Parents are the guardians of their children. They have a responsibility to ensure their rights and well-being, and for that reason they must be well informed. But sometimes it is not easy for a parent to access the information either. The media should bet more to disseminate knowledge and less to air dirty laundry of pseudo-celebrities. It is everyone's responsibility and together we must build an intelligent society. (Luis Mora shares direction with Adolpho Cañadas, who in turn is also responsible for the photography of the documentary)
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