June 6, 2008
Autism: The Musical
Reviewer: Maria Komodore
Rating (out of 5): ***½
Depressing as it may sound, Autism: The Musical is actually a most enjoyable, and moving, film. The documentary focuses on five different children diagnosed with autism that under the careful and optimistic instruction of Elaine Hall and her "Miracle Project" initiative set out to prepare a stage production.
Equipped by her personal experience (her son is also autistic), and determined to provide an alternative form of treatment for children facing this difficult condition, Hall puts great amounts of effort into the project making sure that all the participants find a way to express themselves though acting, singing, dancing, playing music, or just socializing with each other.
Equally impressive is director Tricia Regan's work through which each kid’s personality shines, proving that first and foremost a child with autism is as complex, innocent, and naughty as any child, thus making the experience all the more personable and relatable.
The children's parents are also the stars here, as Regan discreetly yet candidly records how having a child with autism has affected their lives, their relationships and their personal feelings. The outcome is absolutely revealing and touching. Given the proper means to voice their thoughts, feelings, fears, and desires, these kids (which are typically considered to be living in their own little worlds) show that they have a lot to say, and that they are capable of functioning happily into our society if only people are willing enough to include them in it.
Posted by cphillips at June 6, 2008 4:04 PM