It’s no hyperbole to state that Jerry Rothwell’s documentary The Reason I Jump is one of the most immersive and affecting documentaries you’ll see all year.
Channelling the words of Japanese teenager Naoki Higashida’s 2007 bestselling book The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism, the documentary is a sensuous and impressionistic exploration of nonverbal autism that follows five sets of parents of autistic young adults. The film is reminiscent of 2016’s exquisite Notes On Blindness in the way Ruben Woodin Dechamp’s camerawork and Nick Ryan’s sound design evocatively convey the sensory input of its subjects.
Crucially, the oneiric stylistic flourishes never feel gimmicky but are always at the service of offering insight into a still misunderstood condition. The profoundly empathetic manner in which the film conveys untranslatable emotions is nothing short of groundbreaking, and the compassionate way Rothwell challenges the preconceived notions neurotypical audiences could have regarding autism makes The Reason I Jump an essential viewing experience.
Starts Mar 31 D: Jerry Rothwell (UK, 2021)