The Reason I Jump
Based on the novel of the same name, which was written by a mute Japanese teenager with autism, The Reason I Jump is a documentary that dives into separate stories of autism in different areas of the world. A quote from the book looms large over the film, its chief theme and, ultimately, its raison d’être: “Not speaking doesn’t mean I have nothing to say”.
Although a study of five people on the autistic spectrum, the feature tells the story of innumerable people neglected and forgotten in a world which is as accommodating and understanding now as it has ever been – in other words, not very. Renowned documentary filmmaker Jerry Rothwell, whose CV includes How to Change the World and Deep Water, is intent on providing a new perspective and insight into neurodiversity and nonspeaking autism.
Rothwell’s adaptation is a sensory, intensely engaging experience, at once eye-opening, informative and deeply affecting. In an attempt to see the world through his subject’s eyes, the director, alongside sound designer Nick Ryan, ingeniously utilises the soundscape of every scene. Voices become muffled; humming and vibrations intensify; and resonating, euphoric, orchestral blasts accost all of the senses at once. Then there’s the deftly worked filming, with Rothwell calling on all manner of lenses and frames as he focuses in and out. It’s an incredibly immersive work.
Almost like a crash-course in the different attitudes and treatment of autistic people across countries and cultures, The Reason I Jump takes us from India to England, then to the US and finally Sierra Leone. We are introduced to a kaleidoscope of characters and personalities, with the filmmaker’s lens offering a sincere, sensitive portrayal of life on the autistic spectrum.
The Reason I Jump is released in select cinemas on 18th June 2021.
Watch the trailer for The Reason I Jump here: