Roger Ross Williams’s Life, Animated is one of the year’s most heartwarming and uplifting documentaries. Based on Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author Ron Suskind’s 2014 memoir Life, Animated: A Story Of Sidekicks, Heroes And Autism, Williams’s documentary recounts the Suskind family’s 20-year journey to connect with their youngest son, Owen. Diagnosed with regressive autism at the age of three, Owen lost the ability to speak, and developed an obsession with Disney’s animated movies. Latching onto their son’s new-found interest, the family began to converse in Disney dialogue, which eventually helped Owen regain his speech. Over the subsequent years, the Suskinds and their son’s therapist used the famed studio’s output to help Owen connect with the world around him. Enlightening and educational, Life, Animated (winner of the Directing Award at this year’s Sundance) is an inspiring story of triumph over adversity, and a moving celebration of family.
Directors: Zeva Oelbaum, Sabine Krayenbühl.
With: Tilda Swinton as the voice of Gertrude Bell. USA/UK/France 2016. 95 mins. English, Arabic with English subtitles.
Letters from Baghdad tells the extraordinary and dramatic story of Gertrude Bell, the most powerful woman in the British Empire in her day. She shaped the destiny of Iraq after World War I in ways that still reverberate today. More influential than her friend and colleague Lawrence of Arabia, why has she been written out of the history she helped make?
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with directors Zeva Oelbaum and Sabine Krayenbüehl.