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The Reason I Jump
17 November 2021
  Rating 12A

UK/USA (2016) 82 mins
Director: Jerry Rothwell

Based on the best-selling book by Naoki Higashida, The Reason I Jump is an immersive cinematic exploration of neurodiversity through the experiences of non-speaking autistic people from around the world. The film blends Higashida’s revelatory descriptions of his autism, written when he was just 13, with intimate portraits of five remarkable young people. It opens a window into an intense and overwhelming, but often joyful, sensory universe. Acutely observed moments in the lives of each of the characters are connected by passages from Higashida’s writing, in which a young Japanese boy journeys through an epic landscape, gradually discovering what his autism means to him, how his perception of the world differs, and why he acts in the way he does: the reason he jumps. Award-winning filmmaker Jerry Rothwell utilises the potential of cinema to evoke these intense sensory worlds, illustrating Higashida’s core message: not being able to speak does not mean there is nothing to say. The film features a captivating soundtrack created by award-winning composer Nainita Desai. National Autistic Society’s ambassador Elisabeth Wiklander, who is autistic and a cellist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, is the featured cellist.

British Independent Film Awards 2021 Winner Best Documentary (Jerry Rothwell)