“There is a boy who is just like other boys until one night, he sees from his window a storm on the horizon”

Owen Suskind had an early childhood like any other child until one afternoon in 1993 when he was two years old, Owen just stopped; he stopped responding and his emotional engagement with the world appeared to have ended. According to his father Ron Suskind, Owen ‘just vanished’.

This isn’t a documentary about abduction; Owen was not kidnapped instead his brain decided to change on that day and Ron Suskind’s award-winning book Life, Animated follows the early childhood of Owen who was eventually diagnosed with regressive autism, a type of autism that only shows itself in toddlers. The life that then follows is documented in the book (you should buy a copy) as Owen finds joy and the ability to communicate through the works of Walt Disney. The documentary decides to follow a new chapter in Owen’s life as he comes of age and reaches independence at age 23. The film poses a lot of questions about the prejudice surrounding those with autism and who society wants to approach the disorder.

On the 14th December, Picturehouse Central will be screening Life, Animated as part of its Central Docs Club season and for the first time, Sian Melton and myself will be leading the post-film discussion so we would be thrilled if you come along to watch the documentary with us whilst also sticking around after for the discussion.

You can find out more about the film by watching the trailer below plus if you want to learn more about autism, then visit the official website; it’s more than just your usual promotional site.