LIFE, ANIMATED

USA, 2016 (MIFF 2016, Documentaries,Animation)

Director: Roger Ross Williams

"A radiant, uplifting story of an autistic boy who transcends his condition by transferring life's challenges into the format of a Disney animated movie, the film is a documentary gem." – Hollywood Reporter

When he was three years old, Owen Suskind stopped speaking. Diagnosed with autism, he was interested in nothing save for the animated films of the Disney company. Immersing himself in these movies, Owen began communicating using only lines spoken by his favourite characters. Using quotes from the likes of Simba, Ariel and Jafar, Owen was finally able to open up, and his family discovered a porthole into their son's mind.

Inspired by and based on Ron Suskind's book about his son's journey from nearly mute toddler to young man seeking independence, Roger Ross Williams' documentary expertly combines classic Disney sequences and strikingly original hand-drawn animations alongside the Suskind family story. Scoring Williams the award for best directing (US Documentary) at this year's Sundance Film Festival, it's a powerful emotional experience and a knockout insight into how art can shine a light in the darkest of places.

"Not only does the film open its audience's eyes to the world of autism it also sheds new light on the almost Shakespearean qualities of films like The Lion King. Five Stars." – The Guardian

Britt Arthur will host a Q&A with Roger Ross Williams at the session on 2 August.


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