A veritable feast of astounding breakthroughs and heartbreaking hardship, this spellbinding film offers a full-throated celebration of kids living with this increasingly prevalent disorder. Director Tricia Regan vividly captures the individual personalities and problems of each child, from precocious Henry who talks a mile-a-minute about dinosaurs to Neal, a sensitive and articulate boy who nonetheless struggles to speak at all. The parents, too, are fascinating studies in unconditional love, especially Elaine, the mastermind behind the musical and mother of Neal.
A consciousness-raising and empathetic portrait of children and their families living with autism, AUTISM: THE MUSICAL celebrates the spark of humanity in each of us. Called 'Moving, dramatic, therapeutic and unburdened by reliance on talking heads'; (Variety), this film will change the way you look at autism
Special message from Tricia Regan:
"I work with dangerous materials. When handled correctly, a camera records the truth. When infused with a powerful belief, the results of months of editing can yield a film that slices through the layers of distraction and strikes you right at your very core.
It took forever to find a title for this movie. Autism: The Musical is not an “issue” film. Watching this film, you are not going to learn all about the causes and treatments for autism. No experts are going to show up and describe to you in detail all of the various manifestations of autism. You are simply going to experience autism as the characters do: as their primary obstacle in life, and their primary obstacle in putting on an original musical.
By characters, I mean people. This movie is about people who are very real, and very raw, but also very funny and very entertaining. Autism can be devastating, let’s make no bones about that, but it is also a fact of life. And this particular group of people, parents and children alike, have taken on this challenge with courage, hard work, hope, sometimes denial and sometimes acceptance, but most importantly, they have not lost their sense of humor about it all.
So I wanted a title that wasn’t sacrosanct, that could let you know that it’s as okay to laugh and have a good time as it is to cry. Because my goal from the start has been to allow you to see these kids as whole people. And to give you firsthand experience of the dizzying, fascinating, sometimes terrifying and usually mystifying array of autism’s manifestations.
I believe in the inherent value of every living being, and their inalienable right to be respected for everything that they are. There is an entire generation of kids whose neurological systems have been altered by autism. Their challenges make it difficult for them to participate in the culture we have created. Our challenge, as a community, is to find room in our hearts, in our schools, in our neighborhoods, and in our workplaces for these unique individuals. This film, which many have called a love story, brings home exactly why we should. So gather up a few hankies, and be prepared to laugh – but I must give you fair warning – this film will change the way you think, and not just about autism."