Watch Generation A: Portraits of Autism and the Arts
- 1 hr 2 min
Generation A: Portraits of Autism and the Arts is a 2015 documentary film that explores the relationship between individuals on the autism spectrum and the arts. The film features interviews with individuals who have autism, as well as their families and friends, as they discuss the role that the arts have played in their lives. The film is directed by Geri Jewell, an actress and comedienne who has cerebral palsy, and has guest-starred on several TV shows, including The Facts of Life, and Deadwood. She also co-wrote with Craig Sweeney, who has a brother with autism, and the documentary is produced by Curt Fissel. The film features conversations with a wide range of people, including actress and dancer Holly Robinson Peete, Dr. Temple Grandin, actress Ed Asner, and musician Stephen Shore. Each interview provides a unique perspective on how the arts have helped the person with autism express themselves, communicate with others, and develop their talents. The interviews are also a celebration of the individualsâ achievements, as they demonstrate the talents and creativity of those with autism. In one segment of the film, we hear from Michelle Kwan, a world-famous figure skater, talk about her sisterâs experience with autism. Kwan expresses her admiration for her sisterâs strength, courage, and passion for the arts. She emphasizes that individuals on the autism spectrum have different talents and passions. The arts provide a critical outlet for the individual to express themselves, sometimes in ways that traditional communication fails to do. The film also highlights the challenges that individuals on the autism spectrum face, including the social and emotional demands of the arts. For example, in one segment, a young woman discusses how she has learned to manage her anxiety through her love of music. Despite having initial fears of performing in public, she has been able to overcome this obstacle with the help of her family and friends. Her talents and passion for music have enabled her to communicate her emotions and feelings and express her identity. Another individual in the film, a young man with autism, credits his passion for the arts as the reason for his ability to communicate with others. He discusses how his love of theater has helped him to develop social skills, confidence, and a better understanding of his emotions. Overall, Generation A: Portraits of Autism and the Arts provides a unique and inspiring look at the intersection between autism and the arts. The interviews provide a fresh perspective on the talents and abilities of those with autism, highlighting the importance of creativity and self-expression in their lives. The film is notable for the range of individuals featured and the insights they provide into the challenges and successes that come with being on the autism spectrum. It is a powerful reminder that individuals with autism have unique skills and talents that the arts can help to foster and develop. Finally, the documentary challenges us to think more deeply about the role of the arts in our society, and to consider how we can better support individuals on the autism spectrum to pursue their dreams and aspirations. For anyone interested in the arts, autism, or simply looking for an inspiring story, Generation A: Portraits of Autism and the Arts is a film that is not to be missed.