Saturday, February 6, 2016

Saturday Short

I want to put joy back in charge for the rest of my life.
~ Owen Suskind*

Today I encourage everyone to take a peek at Life, Animated, by Roger Ross Williams (director) and Julie Goldman (producer). (Click the movie title link and scroll down to view the trailer.) A documentary, the film premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January 2016 and was awarded the Sundance Directing Award in the U.S. Documentary category.

The film relates Owen Suskind's touching story as a child and young man with late-onset autism; at age 3, Owen suddenly stopped talking and as his father, Ron Suskind, says, "vanished" for years. Remarkably, after engaging Owen's attention with a puppet, his father and mother learned that their son had been memorizing hundreds of lines from favorite Walt Disney movies and could deliver them with the skill of a professional impressionist. It was through movies and those lines he memorized that Owen gradually found the language to communicate. 

Owen's is an amazing and moving story of self-discovery, of being "left behind" and then finding his voice.

Life, Animated on FaceBook

Watch Part 1 and Part 2 of an excellent Democracy Now! interview with the film's director and Owen Suskind and his father, a writer: "Life, Animated: How a Family Reached Their Autistic Son Through Disney Movies", January 27, 2016.

* This statement is quoted from the Democracy Now! interview.

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