The Reason I Jump

Director: Jerry Rothwell Run Time: 82 min.

Based on the best-selling book by Naoki Higashida, The Reason I Jump is an immersive cinematic exploration of neurodiversity through the experiences of nonspeaking autistic people from around the world. The film blends Higashida’s revelatory insights into autism, written when he was just 13, with intimate portraits of five remarkable young people. It opens a window for audiences into an intense and overwhelming, but often joyful, sensory universe.

Moments in the lives of each of the characters are linked by the journey of a young Japanese boy through an epic landscape; narrated passages from Naoki’s writing reflect on what his autism means to him and others, how his perception of the world differs, and why he acts in the way he does: the reason he jumps. The film distils these elements into a sensually rich tapestry that leads us to Naoki’s core message: not being able to speak does not mean there is nothing to say.

“Their struggle is heroic, and this superb documentary has more heroes than any blockbuster would dare to put on the same screen.” ~ Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

“While director Jerry Rothwell’s globe-trotting, visually ambitious film can’t take us into this world, it does an excellent job of helping us better understand it through the eyes and thoughts of five autistic children.” G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle

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Trailer