Dancing at the Vatican
Dancing at the Vatican tells the story of a seemingly impossible, cross-continental journey made by some extraordinarily brave families bound by the same devastating disease. Dozens of Huntington's disease sufferers from Latin America, on a life-changing mission to bring their illness out of the shadows at the world's biggest ever global gathering for this long stigmatised disease.
Some of the Latin American families had never been outside their small villages, didn’t even have birth certificates, let alone passports. None of them had been on a plane or travelled abroad. Despite the multiple limitations of their disease making travel, especially long distance, a huge challenge, they persisted, arriving in Rome for an unforgettable day as ambassadors of generations of hurt and shame, ready to be recognised.
The film is authored by former war reporter Charles Sabine, himself from an HD family and a tireless global campaigner. Together with leading neuroscientist Dr. Ignacio Muñoz-Sanjuan and geneticist Dr. Claudia Perandones, founders of Factor-H, a charity that helps HD sufferers in Latin America, and Dr. Elena Cattaneo, who was made Life Senator in Italy for her work researching the disease; this impassioned group put together an unforgettable day. History was made at an audience with the Pope who would become the first global leader to ever publicly recognise the disease and speak the words 'Huntington's Disease' aloud. Such was the depth of the stigma until that moment; a pivotal one of hope for Huntington's Disease families all over the world.