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National Lottery funded film is 'rare' and 'superb'...

13th January 2021

Following its release in the US, THE REASON I JUMP- an immersive film exploring the experiences of nonspeaking autistic people from around the world- has received incredible reviews. Ahead of its release to UK audiences in 2021, we take a closer look at this BFI and National Lottery supported film.

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.

Film director Jerry Rothwell comments “While no film can replicate human experience, my hope is that THE REASON I JUMP can encourage an audience into thinking about autism from the inside, recognizing other ways of sensing the world, both beautiful and disorientating. I hope the film takes audiences on a journey through different experiences of autism, leaving a strong sense of how the world needs to change to become fully inclusive.”

Read the reviews…

Houston Chronicle
- “The Reason I Jump,” is both advocacy and art...it’s a rare perspective onto the world we all share, a gentle but admirably firm request for compassion we’d all do well to heed."

Wall Street Journal- “This superb documentary has more heroes than any blockbuster would dare to put on the same screen.”

Hyperallergic
- “The film has valuable insights into the experience of people whose inner complexities are too often dismissed.”

Indiewire
- “Jerry Rothwell brings Higashida Naoki's groundbreaking book to the screen with a palpable sense of what it means to be neurodivergent.”

Austin Chronicle- “The Reason I Jump will be revelatory for viewers who know little about the subject, and affirmative for caregivers and parents of children on the autism spectrum.”

The New York Times- "The portraits are moving and informative.”

Look out for THE REASON I JUMP's UK release later this year. In the meantime, keep up to date with the latest National Lottery Good Causes news on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.