The Reason I Jump
Livestream Q&A with director Jerry Rothwell and subjects Bertra & Ben McGann and Donna & Emma Budway
Audience Award, Sundance Film Festival
Based on the groundbreaking memoir by 13-year-old author Naoki Higashida, this fascinating documentary uses an immersive, impressionistic approach to chronicle the rich inner lives of non-speaking autistic people from India, Britain, the U.S., and Sierra Leone. Filmmaker Jerry Rothwell draws empathic portraits of his subjects and their families, and then, in a visually sumptuous artistic flourish, he interweaves their experiences with images of a young Japanese boy playing on a stormy coast. All the while, narrated passages from Naoki’s book describe the way in which he perceives the world around him. The critical message: not being able to speak does not mean there is nothing to say.