The Horse Boy
It's seldom that a film captures something as fragile as a transformation of the human soul, but this documentary of a family's journey to help their autistic child accomplishes just that. Every challenge of raising their child Rowan (5-years-old at the time of the filming) was made exponentially more difficult when former horse trainer and author Rupert Isaacson and his psychology professor wife Kristin Neff were plunged into the reality of Rowan's autism. Rowan's inconsolable four-hour screaming jags, inability to be toilet trained, and remote social skills are shown for their exhausting effect on Rupert and Kristen, who as caring parents are willing to literally go the ends of the earth to heal their son. With some knowledge of Rowan's calming kinship with animals, the family journey to Outer Mongolia to ride horseback across the country to visit with various shaman healers toward their ultimate goal of having a healing ritual performed by the shaman of the reindeer people. The journey proves difficult yet rewarding in ways that only the viewer can properly weigh for their deeper implications. Directed by Michel Orion Scott, Isaacson (the film's producer) narrates the odyssey in his soothing British accent that confirms his best intentions as a father and amiable personality that are reflected in his kind-hearted wife's attentions. "The Horse Boy" is a mesmerizing documentary that will make you rethink everything you think you know about autism.
Not Rated. 93 mins. (A+) (Five Stars)
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