People with mild retardation in some ways suffer more than those that are more impaired. They are on the cusp of normal, aware that they don t quite make the "cut." This delightful and moving film is about such a couple. Marni, the sister of the filmmaker, is a voluble young woman who is aware that she is not endowed with "normal" intelligence. Yet this does not keep her from teasing her more accomplished sister and even parodying the filmmaking process. Her husband, Kris, is hard working and also mentally handicapped. They enjoy an affectionate and mutually supportive relationship. In addition to being a charming portrait, the documentary brings out some important issues regarding the mentally disabled. Marni, wanting to better herself, attends a school program for the handicapped. She aspires to work, like Kris, who has a job cleaning at Kids R Us, but realizes she may not succeed outside her sheltered workshop. She also knows that she cannot shoulder the responsibility of having a child. What makes Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown special is that it portrays the inner lives of fully developed characters with complex personalities. It brings a new appreciation to the rich facets of human experience beyond the usual definition of intellect.