The award-winning, immersive, cinematic portrait of five nonspeaking autistic young people, based on the bestselling book by Naoki Higashida, translated by KA Yoshida & David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
Opening Fri, Jan 8 in virtual cinemas nationwideNew York – BAM Rose Cinemas Los Angeles – Laemmle Theatres Additional cities include: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Minneapolis,Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tucson, Washington DC & more!
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.
Naoki Higashida’s descriptions of a world without speech provoke us to think differently about autism. For most of history, nonspeaking autistic people have been considered less than human: ostracized within communities, banished to institutions, even in some ages and places,
killed en masse. Stigma is still a feature of most autistic people’s lives.
But Naoki’s evocative descriptions of the maelstrom of thoughts, feelings, impulses and memories which affect his every actions lead us, as David Mitchell writes in his introduction to The Reason I Jump to understand that “inside the… autistic body is a mind as curious, subtle and complex as any.” Naoki debunks the ideas often held about the autistic spectrum, that at one end there are geniuses and at the other fools. Instead he describes a magnificent constellation of different ways of experiencing reality, which for the most part, are filtered out by the neurotypical world.
For a filmmaker, this offers an opportunity to use the full potential of cinema to evoke these intense sensory worlds in which meaning is made through sounds, pictures and associations, as well as words. 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.— JERRY ROTHWELL, Director
This film will be released on January 8 in virtual cinemas. Click here to find a Kino Marquee virtual cinema supporting a theater near you.
**Sundance Film Festival, Audience Award – World Cinema Documentary,
**Vancouver Int. Film Festival Canada¦, Audience Award – Int. Documentary,
**Atmosphere Film Festival France¦, Audience Award,
««Rome Film Festival, Social Critic Award Italy¦ – Best Foreign Film,
**DocNYC Winner’s Circle Selection,
**Critic’s Choice Documentary Award – Nominee for Best Cinematography,
**IDA Documentary Award – Nominee for Best Feature,
**IDA Documentary Award – Nominee for Best Director,
**British Independent Film Awards – Nominee for Best Documentary,
**British Independent Film Awards – Nominee for Best Music Nainita Desai¦