Got an hour and a half? Let Owen Suskind and his family share with you their movie Life, Animated. Maybe get some tissues before you settle in. Prepared to laugh, cry, fall in love, watch OWEN in love, and watch Owen launch. Also, maybe watch this with a friend, because you are going to want to talk about this documentary after you finish!
Owen Suskind was a kid who, in short order, looooved Disney movies, stopped speaking, started crying, was diagnosed with Autism shortly before his 3rd birthday, and then used Disney movies to find his way in life. His parents struggled to understand him, his brother clearly wanted to connect with him, and his doctors were initially at a loss. (This story begins in the mid-1990s, and I would like to believe that as a scientific and therapeutic community we have made some strides, particularly with optimism and long-term outcomes. Optimism from the medical community was apparently in short supply for the Suskind family back then, but this family has NAILED it now!)
This documentary is captivating. It is clear how much Owen’s parents and brother love him, how they both tend to him and challenge him, and how they have set him up for success. The juxtaposition of the emotional distress Owen feels and the movie clips he chooses to watch will astound you. Owen is a resilient individual, and his parents have really used their collective experiences to create novel programming for families living on the Autism Spectrum.
I’m not the only one impressed: Life, Animated won the Best Documentary award at Sundance Film Fest, which tells me that lots of people like the film. And Life, Animated the book gets great reviews on Amazon and Good Reads.
If you have a few minutes, look this family up online. They have been everywhere! (New York Times, National Public Radio, Nightline, the list goes on and on!) For your convenience, here are a couple of links for you:
One last note, the documentary is on Amazon Prime! There are no barriers to access for you; watch this today!