Katahdin Foundation

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IN POST PRODUCTION

Since her husband died in 1968, Mimi has lived with her daughter Dona in a modest, ranch-style home in Dallas. Dona has an intellectually disability and probably some undiagnosed autism.

Over the years, Mimi and Dona have carved out a peculiar life for themselves – one filled with errands, church, weekly visits to the beauty parlor and nightly doses of Wheel of Fortune. Frozen in time, they have lived off their Social Security checks, inside the same four walls, for forty years. However, despite being self-sufficient for decades, Mimi and Dona’s symbiotic existence is about to end. At age 92, Mimi can no longer care for Dona; and at age 64, Dona is about to take the biggest step of her life. She’s leaving home to live in an assisted-living center.

Filmmaker Sophie Sartain is Mimi’s granddaughter and Dona’s niece. In this personal documentary, she chronicles the heart-wrenching process of separating her aunt and grandmother. She also reaches back to explore the complicated legacy of Dona’s disability on three generations of her Texas family.

Her family’s situation is all-too-familiar to millions of families in the U.S. and worldwide. An estimated 4.6 million Americans have an intellectual or developmental disability. These individuals are living longer than ever before. And more than 75% of them live at home with family. What happens when aging family members can no longer care for them? What are the options for this vulnerable population? How can we better serve them and their families? MIMI AND DONA raises these questions through the intimate story of a deeply connected, wonderfully quirky mother-daughter duo.